Lawn Watering

Water restrictions are part of the regional Water Shortage Response Plan set by Metro Vancouver. 

Regional water-use restrictions are in effect May 15 to October 15, regardless of the weather.

Stage 1 restrictions are in effect

The following restrictions apply to lawn sprinkling using hose-connected or in-ground sprinklers. No evening lawn watering is permitted.

You could be fined if you water outside of designated times and don’t have a permit.

Residential Lawn Sprinkling

Non-Residential Lawn Watering

Gardens, Shrubs, Trees

Car and Boat Washing

Surface and Power Washing

Stage 1 Exemptions

Exemptions during Stage 1 include:

  • Newly planted lawns and landscaping, but only with a municipal permit (see below).
  • Watering of flower and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees.
  • Filling of pools, spas, water play parks, garden ponds and fountains.
  • Washing of cars or boats, but with a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle only.
  • Municipal parks, sport and sand-based playing fields and school yards, but watering is to be reduced to minimal levels to keep these areas in usable condition.
  • Lawns at golf courses or turf farms, but operators are requested to cut water use on fairways as much as possible.

Did you know one hour of sprinkling per week is all most yards need?

These restrictions are crucial to managing the demand for drinking water during the summer period, and are Stage 1 of the region’s Water Shortage Response Plan.

As set out in the Plan, during long, dry periods, it may become necessary to further restrict watering. Details will be available here, as well as through various media sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Watering Permit Application

A new lawn – placing of sod, turf or by seeding – or landscaping requires a permit in order to be exempt from the lawn watering restrictions.

  • A permit allows lawn watering for three hours on any day of the week between 4:00am and 9:00am for the duration of the permit.
  • The permit is $30 and is valid for a period of 21 days from the date of issuance.
  • To apply, complete the application form online

Note: This permit is only valid during Stage 1 and 2 water restriction levels and will not be valid if the region moves into Stage 3 or 4 watering restriction levels.

Permit for Nematodes Application

Nematodes, a microscopic worm that can control European Chafer Beetle, are most effective when applied in late July. As your lawn must be watered thoroughly before and after a nematode application, you can apply for a water exemption permit from the City. Please refer to our European Chafer Beetle page to learn more.  Please note, the permit:

  • Can be applied during the period of June 1 and August 31.
  • Is valid for a period of 21 days from the permit issue date and can only be applied to the area of lawn treated with nematodes.

Complete and submit the online application form. A permit will be automatically issued to you. Print the permit and post on your lawn.

Note: this permit is only valid during Stage 1 and 2 water restriction levels and will not be renewed if the region moves into Stage 3 or 4 water restriction levels. Permits issued in Stages 1 or 2 remain in effect until permit expires.