It’s time to monitor the sprinklers and leave your hose in the garage.
Metro Vancouver is banning all lawn watering as the region shifts to Stage 2 restrictions starting Friday.
The move comes amid high demand for water and another spell of hot and dry weather in the forecast.
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“Use of our treated drinking water remains higher than average, and with more hot weather on the horizon,” wrote George V. Harvie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors, in a press release.
“We are taking this proactive step to ensure that our region’s 2.8 million residents will have enough drinking water for essential uses for the rest of the dry season.”
Metro Vancouver provides one billion litres of drinking water each day for roughly two and a half million people that live in the region. Since May, water usage in the Lower Mainland has spiked by about 20 per cent compared to last year.
“Consistent above-average temperatures combined with high water demand have put extra pressure on the water supply,” wrote Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Water Committee.
Brodie added that reducing outdoor water use is the number one way residents can limit their water consumption.
Trees, shrubs, and flowers are allowed to be watered by hand, or through a soaker hose and drip irrigation under Stage 2 restrictions. They can also be watered by using a sprinkler between 5:00 and 9:00 a.m.
Vegetable gardens can be watered at any point during the day. But water features are not allowed to be filled, and washing driveways or sidewalks is banned.
The last time Metro Vancouver reached Stage 2 was 2015, when a combination of warm temperatures and a low snowpack extended water restrictions until mid-October.
A rainstorm on July 24 brought about 20 millimetres to many cities within Metro Vancouver, providing some relief to the current drought.
But dry weather is in the forecast for this weekend and throughout the beginning of August.
Residents who are caught violating lawn watering rules can be fined up to $500.
Residents can still fill or top up pools and hot tubs. Residents can also wash their vehicles or boats. However, all of those activities will be barred if Metro Vancouver moves to Stage 3 water restrictions.
Residents are allowed to wash impermeable surfaces for reasons of health or safety or to prepare for painting.
Golf courses can still be watered once a week.
For a complete list of water restrictions, click here.