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Drinking Water Conservation Plan


​Metro Vancouver’s Drinking Water Conservation Plan (DWCP) is a regional policy developed with local governments and other stakeholders to manage the use of drinking water during periods of high demand, mostly during late spring to early fall, and during periods of water shortages and emergencies. The DWCP helps ensure our collective needs for drinking water are met affordably and sustainably now, and in the future.

The DWCP applies only to local government members of the GVWD and the use of drinking water from the GVWD’s water system. Jurisdictions that are not local government members of the GVWD are encouraged to follow the restrictions in the plan to help conserve drinking water and demonstrate leadership and consistency to water users across the region. The DWCP restrictions do not apply to the use of rain water, grey water, any forms of recycled water, or water from sources outside the GVWD water system.

In most cases, the stages of the plan will be activated in successive order, but they can also be activated immediately in any order.

​​Stage 1​​Stage 2 and​ 3​​Stage 4

Stage 1 reduces demand in summer months, and is automatically in effect on May 1 until October 15.

​Stages 2 and 3, activated and deactivated by the GVWD Commissioner, are likely to be activated during unusually hot and dry conditions to maximize conservation.

Stage 4 is activated and deactivated by the GVWD Commissioner during an emergency to i​mmediately limit water use to essential needs only.​

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Drinking Water Conservation Plan, Drinking Water Conservation PlanDrinking Water Conservation Plan

A summarized list of water use regulations for homes, businesses, governments and schools for Stages 1 to 4 is available in the Drinking Water Conservation Plan Summary ​document.



Drinking Water Conservation Plan Summary, Drinking Water Conservation Plan SummaryDrinking Water Conservation Plan Summary

Residential Lawns

​​​Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

​​​Vegetable Gardens
​​ Stage 1

May 1 -​​ October 1​5

​Even address
Odd Address

Automatic Watering
5 am - 7am
Manual Watering 6am - 9 am
​​​Hand Watering Soaker Hose or Drip Irrigation 

​Any time


Any day 
5 am - 9 am

Any time
Stage​​ 2

Lawn Watering Prohibited
Hand Watering Soaker Hose or Drip Irrigation 

​A​ny time


Any day 
5 am - 9 am​

Any time
​​ Stage 3 ​

Lawn Watering Prohibited
Sprinklers and Soaker Hoses Prohibited
​​Hand Watering  or Drip Irrigation 

​A​ny time

Any time
​​Stage 4
​All activities prohibited in emergency Stage 4.​​​

​​ ​

 Related links



Regional Watering Regulations, Regional Watering RegulationsRegional Watering Regulations
Reports and Resources, Reports & ResourcesReports and Resources
Waterwise Lawn Care and Irrigation, Waterwise Lawn Care & IrrigationWaterwise Lawn Care and Irrigation
Water Campaign Materials, Water Campaign MaterialsWater Campaign Materials

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