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A little rain can’t make up for two months of drought

September 1, 2015

One of two “fountains” again running 24-7 on West Broadway.

On my way westward on Monday morning (August 31), as the rain was pouring down, I noticed that two water fountains flanking the entrance to the office building at 1177 West Broadway Avenue were back up and running. And 12 hours later, on my way eastward at 11 p.m. both fountains were still running (some six hours after the building had closed for the night).

Some people in Vancouver, such as the managers of the aforementioned Clairmont Building (namely Broadway Properties Ltd.), may think that Monday’s heavy rain (and the prospect of a few days more) marks the end of water conservation but it doesn’t.

Rain or no rain, Stage 3 lawn sprinkling restrictions are still in effect across Metro Vancouver and Stage 3 clearly calls for all public and commercial fountains and water features to be shut off!

Do what Metro Vancouver says, not what nature does


Stage 3 restrictions are still in effect in both the city and the region.

The lawn sprinkling regulations enforced by the City of Vancouver are set by the Metro Vancouver region, which lists Stage 3 restrictions on the use of treated municipal tap water as follows:

  • Lawn sprinkling is prohibited;
  • Municipal exemption permits for new‐lawns or nematode application are prohibited;
  • Watering of trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative planters and vegetable gardens by sprinklers or soaker hoses is prohibited;
  • Private pressure washing is prohibited;
  • Washing of driveways, sidewalks and parkades for aesthetic purposes is prohibited;
  • Washing of all cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and other recreational and vehicles is prohibited;
  • Golf course fairway watering is prohibited;
  • Cemetery lawns – all forms of watering are prohibited;
  • Municipal parks – all forms of watering are prohibited;
  • Operation of ornamental fountains is prohibited;
  • Filling or refilling of private swimming pools, hot tubs and garden ponds is prohibited.

Metro’s drop in water usage is more than a drop in the bucket

Daily water consumption in Metro Vancouver for summer 2015. -- Metro Vancouver

Metro’s daily water consumption, July 1-August 29. — Metro Vancouver

The good news is that from the beginning of July to Saturday, August 29, Metro Vancouver measured a significant drop in daily water usage, from 1.66 down to 1.02 billion litres per day. That’s 640 million litres less water, or  a 38.5 percent decrease.

Stage 3 restrictions were introduced on July 20 and water usage immediately plunged day-by-day, until it reached its lowest point for the period on July 26. In those six days water usage fell from 1.48 to an even 1 billion litres per day — close to a one third drop!

Metro Vancouver says that, as of August 25, total water reservoir storage for metro Vancouver (including Coquitlam Lake) was 55 percent of maximum, or a little over 150 million cubic meters — about 40 million less than was available at the same time last year. Click the images above to enlarge them.


When it rains it piddles (the fountain that is).

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