ICYMI - Metro Vancouver Activated Stage 2 Water Restrictions

Metro Vancouver is activating Stage 2 of the Drinking Water Conservation Plan (DWCP), effective August 4, 2023. Stage 2 water restrictions mean that all residential and non-residential lawn watering and watering of grass boulevards is banned.

The region has been experiencing a long period of warm, dry weather since May along with higher than average water demands and lower than normal precipitation. Water consumption across the region was over 20 per cent higher than the same period last year, and resulted in accelerated reservoir drawdowns. Although our reservoir levels remain within the normal range, we don’t expect to see a reduction in water demands while in Stage 1 with the continuing warm, dry weather.

In addition to banning residential and non-residential lawn watering and watering of grass boulevards, additional restrictions under Stage 2 include: 

  •  No topping up or filling of aesthetic water features
  •  No washing of impermeable/hard surfaces such as driveways and sidewalks unless its for a health or safety reason, or to prepare a surface for painting or similar treatment
  •  No new permits for watering new lawns or lawns being treated for the European Chafer Beetle. Permits issued in Stage 1 remain in effect until they expire
  •  Reduction of the watering of some playing fields and golf course fairways

 The decision to activate Stage 2 is being made based on careful consideration of several factors including:

  •  The rain on Monday, July 24, 2023 and Tuesday, July 25, 2023 provided some temporary relief to our region in terms of reducing fire risk and the potential to reduce outdoor water use; however, the rain did not contribute to an increase to the levels of the reservoirs. The majority of the rainfall was absorbed by the ground and vegetation.
  •  The 14-day weather forecast is showing a continuation of the warm and dry weather trend with very minimal precipitation.
  •  The seasonal weather forecast is projecting a high likelihood of continued drought into the fall. 
  •  Moving to more restrictive watering restrictions aligns with the Province’s recommendations to prepare for a dry fall.
  •  We have been in Stage 1 for 12 weeks and the demands have stayed consistently high.
  •  Acting now to implement stricter watering restrictions offers us the best opportunity to influence demand and save water effectively. Waiting until mid-August or September will reduce our ability to conserve water and mitigate the impact. 
  •  Limiting lawn watering now and saving additional water supplies will allow Metro Vancouver the flexibility to respond to any requests to support the early fall salmon runs. This support may be crucial to protect our ecosystem and fish populations. 

You are welcome to direct inquiries to Metro Vancouver’s Information Centre as the first point of contact at icentre@metrovancouver.org or phone at 604-342-6200. 

Thank you for your support in sharing this information with your operations staff regarding Stage 2 implementation and continuing to promote outdoor watering restrictions. 

For questions about the DWCP or Stage 2 water restrictions please contact Linda Parkinson, Director, Policy Planning and Analysis, Water Services, Metro Vancouver, at  (Linda.Parkinson@metrovancouver.org).

For questions about the communication roll-out please contact Nermine Tawfik, Supervisor, Community Engagement, External Relations, Metro Vancouver, (Nermine.Tawfik@metrovancouver.org).


Linda Parkinson, P. Eng. MBA
Director, Policy Planning and Analysis 
Water Services
t. 604.659.5936