Vancouver's lawn watering restrictions encourage residents to 'go gold' this summer

New lawn watering regulations in Metro Vancouver mean that children may not be able to play in sprinklers this summer.

Lawn watering restrictions are in effect in the City of Vancouver and around the region as of May 1, and limit residents to watering twice per week and on a set schedule.

The annual “stage one” restrictions, which are set by Metro Vancouver, ensure the region's water reservoirs aren’t over-tapped, and the city says the restrictions are especially relevant during the pandemic.

“As people do their part to reduce transmission of COVID-19 by staying home, many will spend more time tending lawns and gardens than other years,” reads a news statement from the city.

“Let your lawn go gold this summer,” it continues.

In limiting how often people water their lawns, residents save valuable water for other essential tasks such as cooking, cleaning and drinking.

“Climate change and a growing population have put pressure on regional water supplies,” reads the statement, released by the city’s engineering department.

The restrictions will remain in effect until Oct. 15, and breaking the rules can lead to a bylaw fine of $250. Even with the restrictions, the city says that water use tends to double during the summer months.

However, despite the encouragement to let the grass turn gold, many Vancouver lawns can expect to weather the restrictions.

“Lawns in Vancouver generally need only one inch of water for one hour each week, including rainfall, to stay healthy and green,” says the city.

Residents, facilities and businesses are to limit watering their lawns according to the following schedule:

Residential addresses:

  • Even-numbered addresses: 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Odd-numbered addresses: 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays

Non-residential addresses:

  • Even-numbered addresses: 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Mondays and 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Fridays
  • Odd-numbered addresses: 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Mondays and 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Fridays