British Columbia

Vancouver's record dry conditions lead to tough new watering restrictions

Vancouver is stepping up its water restrictions in the wake of record-breaking dry weather.

Vancouver is shutting off fountains and limiting water parks to conserve water

A record-breaking hot and dry May and June has left the water reservoir at levels usually seen in late July or August 1:57

Vancouver is stepping up its water restrictions in the wake of record-breaking dry weather, reminding people "It's hot, it's dry. Don't waste a drop."

Metro Vancouver officials announced Friday that lawn watering will be reduced to one day a week, in the wake of the driest spell since 2003.

"As we all know healthy lawns only need watering once a week,and if you don't water it at all and it just goes dry it will just go dormant and you will be able to have a healthy lawn in the fall when the rains come again," said Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of North Vancouver.

A record-breaking hot and dry May and June has left the water reservoir at levels usually seen in late July or August.

The water level is now at 79 per cent. That's sparked municipalities to reduce the watering of playing fields, and to require that ornamental fountains be shut off. Spray parks will also be turned off unless they have a user-activated feature. Golf courses are also only allowed to water once a week.

Residents are also being asked to reduce spray-washing for aesthetic purposes, and to refrain from washing cars except for safety reasons (such as mirror or window cleaning.)

If people do not comply, they can expect warnings, education, and in extreme cases, tickets.

​"We don't want to go out as a bylaw department and just be handing out tickets. We would rather that they comply," said Greg Moore, the mayor of Port Coquitlam.

In 1997 Vancouver did hit "Stage 4" drought conditions briefly — and "Stage 3" in 2003. So this is not the worst dry spell Vancouver has seen. 

But Metro officials are not taking chances.

"We are experiencing record high conditions," said Carol Mason, CAO of Metro Vancouver, "But we are in very good shape."

In British Columbia the drought rating system ranges from 1-4. Vancouver Metro officials just shifted Greater Vancouver into Stage 2 restrictions. Parts of Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands are in Stage 3. (Government of B.C.)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.