British Columbia

B.C. drought: Metro Vancouver reservoirs fall to 69%

Daily water consumption in the region has not dropped enough, despite increasing water restrictions and reservoir levels falling well below the norm for this time of year.

Stage 3 water restrictions began Monday, banning all lawn sprinkling and a number of other water uses

Under Stage 3 restrictions, water parks can stay open but only if they have user-activated spray features. At Stage 4 — the most severe level — they close down. (CBC)

Metro Vancouver has stepped up water restrictions amid ongoing "extreme" drought, but the daily consumption of water from the region's dwindling reserves has not fallen enough.

Yesterday, the region moved to Stage 3 of its water shortage response plan, which bans all lawn sprinkling and a number of other water uses.

Yet residents and businesses still drew 1.48 billion litres from the reservoirs on the same day, up from a low of 1.16 billion litres over a cool, wet weekend earlier in July.

The region plans to update its daily consumption chart throughout the water shortage, in addition to the weekly reservoir updates.

Last week, the province declared a Level 4 drought in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Fraser Valley. That's the highest category possible and means that if water supplies continue to decline, shortages could affect people, industry and agriculture.

The last time Metro Vancouver went to Stage 3 water restrictions was during the hot, dry summer of 2003. That year, reservoir levels dipped to 47 per cent in August and 35 per cent in September, before rain replenished the water supply.

Daily consumption chart as of Monday July 20

On Monday, as the region entered Stage 3 water restrictions, people and businesses used 1.48 billion litres of water. Metro Vancouver plans to release daily information on consumption levels throughout the water shortage. (Metro Vancouver)

With files from Matthew McFarlane


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