Water restrictions and lawn sprinkling permits

Water use across the region can increase by 50% in summer and early fall, for swimming pools, growing food, maintaining sports fields, and other social and community-building uses.

But a lot of water is also used to green our lawns, wash our decks or driveways, and for other lower-priority uses. Metro Vancouver's region-wide watering regulations are an effective way to help use our drinking water wisely.

Metro Vancouver is implementing Stage 2 water restrictions on Friday, August 4, 2023, which prohibit all lawn watering. See a list of Stage 2 restrictions below. 

Stage 2 water restrictions effective August 4, 2023

Metro’s Drinking Water Conservation Plan implements outdoor watering restrictions from May 1 to October 15 each year in three stages. The highest stage has the strictest rules, which aim to reduce how much drinking water people use.

Prohibited activities during Stage 2

  • All lawn watering
  • Topping up or filling aesthetic water features, such as fountains
  • Washing impermeable surfaces like driveways and sidewalks, except in limited circumstances

We’ll be strictly enforcing the Stage 2 restrictions according to the Drinking Water Conservation Bylaw. Watering without permission will result in tickets of $250.

Permitted activities during Stage 2

Watering trees, shrubs, and flowers

  • Anytime by hand or using drip irrigation
  • Any day from 5:00 am to 9:00 am using a sprinkler

Other permitted activities

  • Watering vegetable gardens
  • Watering new lawns or lawns being treated for the European Chafer Beetle with permits issued in Stage 1, until the permit expires. We’ll not issue new permits in Stage 2

See the full list of water use regulations for homes and businesses for Stages 1 to 4

Learn more about watering rules and restrictions

To learn more about Metro's water stages and what you can or can't do in each stage, review their Drinking Water Conservation Plan Summary.

Permit to water during summer lawn sprinkling restrictions

You can apply for a lawn sprinkling permit to water your lawn daily for three weeks (between 4am and 9am) during summer restrictions.

You qualify for a permit if you are:

  • installing a new lawn
  • applying nematodes to your lawn to treat a chafer beetle infestation
  • restoring your lawn following District-led street works

Permit fees

The permit costs $60 and is good for 21 days. The fee is waived if:

  • you have a receipt to show that you have purchased nematodes
  • your lawn is being restored following District-led street works

How to apply online

  $60 fee (new lawns)  Fee waived (nematodes or DNV restoration)
Step 1 Download the application form Download the application form
Step 2 Complete the application form and email it to us: enquiries@dnv.org Complete the application form and email it, along with an electronic copy of your nematode receipt if applicable (photo or scan) to: enquiries@dnv.org
Step 3 After receiving your application, we will email you a web link to pay the $60 fee online by credit card. Once we receive your payment, we will email your permit. This step can take 1-3 days. Within 1-3 days of receiving your application, we will email your permit


How to apply through the mail

If you do not have access to email, please print, fill out, and mail the documents below to District Hall.

355 W Queens Rd
North Vancouver, BC
V7N 4N5