After last year's record-breaking dry summer, Metro Vancouver says water restrictions will now begin more than two weeks earlier than past years in order to ensure the region still has enough water supply at summer's end.

Water restrictions will begin May 15th, 2016 and continue until Oct 15th.

"That's to reflect the kind of conditions we've experienced this past summer, to make sure in the future we're okay with demand," said Inder Singh, director of policy planning and analysis in Metro Vancouver's water services department.

Dry summer conditions and a low snowpack in 2015 forced Metro Vancouver to implement stage 3 water restrictions in July, which banned lawn sprinkling outright. It was the first time residents in the region saw that severity of water-use restriction since 2003.

Singh says this winter's rain and snow is no guarantee that reservoir levels this upcoming summer will stay high.

"The snowpack at this time of the year has a benefit to skiers but not for future water supply in the summer because it could effectively all be gone depending on the nature of the temperatures and everything else happening between now and the spring."

Seeking public input

Metro Vancouver is asking for public input on the region's water shortage plan.

"There's a comprehensive review underway right now ... the first phase is to go through consultation, and obtain information from the various users out there."

People who have ideas and comments about an updated plan are encouraged to submit them to Metro Vancouver.


To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Metro Vancouver's water plans for 2016.