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Water Restrictions

Water Restrictions

Watering restrictions within Metro Vancouver region, including City of Surrey, will be in effect from May 1 to October 15, 2019. During this period, restrictions and allowances are divided among four different stages. For more details, refer to the Drinking Water Conservation Bylaw.

During Stage 1, any lawn watering, either by sprinkler or by handheld hose, is permitted only two times per week. Unauthorized violation during this phase will result in a $200 fine.

Watering Schedule in Stage 1

Residential Addresses

  • Even numbered addresses: Wednesday and Saturday from 4am to 9am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Thursday and Sunday from 4am to 9am
  • Watering flowers, planters, shrubs, and trees  on any day from 4 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any day at any time if using a handheld hose, soaker hose, water container, or drip irrigation

Non-residential Addresses

  • Even numbered addresses: Monday from 1am to 6am, Friday 4am to 9am
  • Odd numbered addresses: Tuesday from 1am to 6 am, Friday 4am to 9am
  • Watering flowers, planters, shrubs, and trees  on any day from 1 am to 9 am if using a sprinkler, or any day at any time if using a handheld hose, soaker hose, water container, or drip irrigation

Please Note:

  • All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.
  • Multi-unit complexes, such as apartments and townhouses, are to water according to the complex address, not the individual unit numbers.
  • Mixed-use complexes (i.e. residential with commercial buildings) are to water according to the non-residential address schedule.
  • There are no restrictions on watering edible plants.

Special Water Permit

A special water permit is available for new lawns, newly seeded lawns, or lawns under natural pest control, such as the Nematode treatment to control European Chafer Beetles.

To get a permit, visit the Engineering Front Counter on the 2nd Floor of City Hall. Bring a copy of the receipt for your Nematodes or new lawn as proof. Permits related to Nematode treatments are free, and permits for new lawns are $35.

Reporting a Water Sprinkling Violation

Active Violations

Report any active water sprinkling violations to the Bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370.

Past Violations

To report past violations or submit a request for information, please call the Engineering Department at 604-591-4340 or email

Any complaints received, or observed violations, may result in fines imposed under the Bylaw Contravention Fines (see page 23).

Helpful Lawn Care Tips

  • Lawns mainly do not require more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) of water per week, which can be achieved by sprinkling once a week.
  • Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a rain barrel to water your garden.
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn; they reduce evaporation and the need to water.
  • Check out the waterwise Lawn Care Brochure.
  • See more Water Saving Tips on Metro Vancouver's Lawn Watering Regulations page and We Love Water campaign.

History of Lawn Watering Regulations

In the winter and spring of 1992, low rainfall and snow pack significantly reduced water levels within Metro Vancouver's 3 main reservoirs. In addition, during the summer months, unusually warm weather resulted in a much higher water consumption rate, further lowering water levels. This resulted in a solution requiring a 10-week ban on all lawn and garden sprinkling.

In the summer of 1993, Metro Vancouver's member municipalities imposed regular twice weekly lawn sprinkling regulations. Starting 2011, new lawn sprinkling regulations were imposed in our region each summer between June 1 and September 30. These regulations allows people water 3 times a week, keep the rate of water consumption evenly distributed, and lower the risk of reservoir levels being depleted too quickly.

Effective 2016, Metro Vancouver extended the Water Shortage Response Plan, regardless of weather condition, from May 15 to October 15, 2017.

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