Lawn Watering Regulations & Permits

Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Response Plan, regardless of weather conditions, applies from May 1 to October 15.

The intent is for watering to take place in the early morning hours, when demand is low and evaporation is minimal. The policy affects both residential and non-residential areas, and the permitted watering hours are summarized below.

New for 2022

Residential

Even-numbered addresses: Saturdays only
Odd-numbered addressesSundays only

  • Automatic watering from 5:00 to 7:00 am only
  • Manual watering from 6:00 am to 9:00 am
     

Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day from 5:00 am to 9:00 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.

Edible plants are exempt from regulations

Non-residential

Even-numbered addresses: Mondays only
Odd-numbered addressesTuesdays only

  • Automatic watering from 4:00 to 6:00 am only
  • Manual watering from 6:00 am to 9:00 am
     

Watering trees, shrubs and flowers is permitted any day from 4:00 am to 9:00 am if using a sprinkler, or any time if hand watering or using drip irrigation. All hoses must have an automatic shut-off device.

Edible plants are exempt from regulations

Automatic watering means applying water using an automated water delivery system that requires only minimal human intervention or supervision and typically employs mechanical, electronic, or other components and devices, including but not limited to timers, sensors, computers, or mechanical appliances. 

Manual watering means applying water using a device or tool that is manually held or operated by a human being, without automatic watering.

Check out the Lawn Watering: Automatic vs. Manual Methods guide for examples.

Please note:

1.  Water Exemption Permits: Between May 1st and Oct 15th, newly turfed or seeded lawns and those being treated with Nematodes may be irrigated more frequently, provided a Lawn Watering Permit is obtained. Permits can be obtained through Engineering Services at City Hall, Queensborough Community Centre or by applying online. Proof of purchase may be required to obtain a permit. Remember that, while exemption permits allow for additional watering days, watering is still restricted to the times outlined above. No new permits are issued for watering newly turfed or seeded lawns in Stage 2, 3 and Stage 4.  Apply Online

2. Hand-watering of flowers, shrubs and vegetable gardens is not affected by the regulations at this stage.

3. Car washing using a hose equipped with a spring loaded shut-off device is permitted.

4. Residents may water their lawn with water from rain barrels outside of permitted watering hours.

Your cooperation will help save water and reduce the risk of more severe restrictions. Remember, your lawn only needs about 1-inch of water (about 1 hour of watering) per week to stay healthy.

Fines and Reporting Violations

Sprinkling outside of the allowed days and times is subject to a fine based on the current stage of the Water Shortage Response Plan.

  • Stage 1 $100
  • Stage 2 $200
  • Stage 3 $500
  • Stage 4 $1,000


To report lawn watering violations, please contact Parking at 604-519-2010 or . When reporting, please provide the following information:

  • Address
  • Date(s) and time(s) of the observed violation
  • Location of watering (e.g. front lawn)


If you require more information, please contact Engineering Operations at 604-526-4691. Thank you for your cooperation.

Additional Resources

Lawn Watering FAQs

Water Shortage Response Bylaw No. 6948

Metro Vancouver Lawn Watering Regulations

Metro Vancouver Drinking Water Conservation Plan

Metro Vancouver Drinking Water Conservation Plan FAQ's