Metro Vancouver water use on target after sprinkling ban

Reservoir supply now expected to last until November rains

Water levels have been declining at the Coquitlam reservoir

Metro Vancouver’s move last month to stage 3 water use restrictions, including a full sprinkling ban, is so far on track to get the region through a continued dry summer and fall.

Since July 22 the region’s total daily water consumption has been at or below 1.2 billion litres – a target that officials think can conserve enough water in reservoirs even if virtually no rain falls until November.

Prior to the stage 3 declaration on July 20, the region was using around 1.4 billion litres a day, and consumption had run as high as 1.7 billion on July 2.

“The last 13 days we’ve been under 1.2 billion, which is a really, really good thing,” said Metro utilities committee chair Darrell Mussatto.

“At this rate, it will be enough to make it all the way through until November when the big rains come.”

The North Vancouver City mayor said most residents across the region “are getting it” and not sprinkling their lawns.

A move to stage 4 restrictions does not currently appear necessary and would only be a “last resort” if the water supply is depleted too quickly.

It’s helped, he said, that there have been several days of cooler weather with occasional showers, and some residents have been away on vacation.

In future years, Mussatto said, Metro may consider moving beyond stage 1 restrictions sooner as a preventative measure. Drier summers are a predicted consequence of climate change for B.C.