Water CONSERVATION REGULATIONS
Regulations on outdoor water use are in place from May 1 to September 30 each year. Regulations may escalate at any time if there is a significant stress on the regional water supply due to hotter and drier weather, or other unforeseen circumstances.
WE ARE CURRENTLY AT STAGE 1 WATER CONSERVATION REGULATIONS.
Click on the map below to find water conservation regulations for your address.
New Regulations in 2022
All water conservation regulations stages chart CLICK HERE.
Stage 1 water conservation regulations CLICK HERE.
Stage 2 water conservation regulations CLICK HERE.
Stage 3 water conservation regulations CLICK HERE.
Stage 4 water conservation regulations CLICK HERE.
ENFORCEMENT OF REGULATIONS
If you have a concern about water conservation or sprinkling, please call 604-885-6806 or use our online complaint form.
All complaints receive follow up. The SCRD will issue warnings to properties in violation of regulations
and provide information about water conservation regulations. If there is continued non-compliance,
bylaw officers will issue a Bylaw Enforcement Notice and a fine.
Fines increase as water conservation stages progress:
- Stage 1 at $200
- Stage 2 at $300
- Stage 3 at $400
- Stage 4 at $500
Ensure your automated irrigation system is only watering within the allowed times for your address.
Rain Sensors are required on all irrigation systems to prevent watering in the rain.
Drip irrigation systems are water conserving technologies. The SCRD defines drip irrigation as a system that operates at a pressure less than 138 kPa (20 psi) and delivers water directly to the plant root zone.
Drip irrigation has individual emission points where each emitter uses less than 7.6 litres per hour. A pressure regulator is needed to reduce the water pressure to 20 psi.
Wonder how much water is used by irrigation? This video takes a quick look at water use by sprinklers, soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and hand watering.
PERMIT FOR WATERING A NEW LAWN - DISCONTINUED
Permits for watering new lawns are no longer available. New lawns should be established early in the spring, prior to possible summer droughts, or in the fall.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Regulations are put in place from May 1 to September 30 as per Section 19 of the Water Rates and Regulations Bylaw No. 422.
Regulations look at where we can conserve water from lawn irrigation and other lower-priority outdoor uses in order to make water available for food producing plants and trees.
Water conservation regulations are guided by the region's Drought Response Plan.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why do regional districts and municipalities regulate outdoor water use?
Drinking water is a limited resource. Water regulations are designed to promote water conservation and ensure water supply and treatment systems can meet the large seasonal increase in outdoor water use during the summer.
Limits to water systems include the rate at which water can flow through a treatment plant, the rate pumps can run to recharge to neighbourhood reservoirs and maintain water pressure in the system, and the amount of water the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is licenced to draw from creeks, lakes, and aquifers.
During times of low rainfall (drought), surface water systems that rely on lakes and creeks are not refilled and community water supplies are limited to the stored water remaining. Regulating outdoor water use prioritizes drinking water supply for essential household activities and services.
Q. When do we move through water conservation stages?
Water conservation stages are not scheduled in advance. Stages can change during times of low rainfall and high water use. Snowpack conditions, weather forecasts, current supply levels, community water use, and seasonal trends are all used to determine when a change in stage is needed. Information on which stage is in effect can be found on the SCRD website, local newspaper, local radio, social media channels, and road signs.
Plan to be away from your property? Please continue to follow water conservation regulations by either setting your automatic sprinkler to follow the water conservation regulation schedule or asking for the support of a friend or landscaper for outdoor watering.
Q. Do I have to follow the watering regulations schedules? Why were these schedules selected?
Watering schedules promote efficiency and are based on community and water system needs which include:
- Watering during the morning and evening reduces the amount of evaporation that occurs from lawns, sprinklers, and soil.
- Current times and days of the week included community feedback obtained through public engagement.
- Following watering schedules allows the water treatment and distribution systems to recharge neighbourhood reservoirs to be ready for morning and evening water demand
If you are unavailable at these times, please consider alternatives such as rainwater collection or a drip irrigation system on a timer. Rebates are available for rainwater harvesting systems, learn more here.
Q. I sell my vegetables and flowers at a road side stand? Am I exempt from water conservation regulations?
Commercial food producing farms, paying a metered rate for water, are exempt from regulations in water conservation Stages 1, 2 and 3.
A property that is classified as farm land for taxation purposes under the British Columbia Assessment Authority Act, and that is paying a metered rate for water, is exempt from Stage 4 water conservation regulations, for a two-week period, commencing from the first date when Stage 4 comes into effect.
All other growers must adhere to the water conservation regulations in place. Residential property owners are eligible for rainwater harvesting rebates. Learn more here.
Q. My sprinklers mostly spray my flowers…but they also hit the grass. Is this allowed?
During Stage 2 water conservation regulations and onward –lawn watering is NOT permitted. Try directing your sprinkler heads to the flowers only, turning off some zones of your system, or water by hand.
Q. Can I get a permit to pressure wash during water conservation regulations Stages 3 and 4?
Permits are not available for pressure washing, this includes businesses. Plan to pressure wash in the spring or fall.
Q. I use water from a private residential or commercial well. Do water conservation regulations apply to me?
Water conservation regulations apply only to the use of SCRD drinking water, not to the use of private wells, rainwater or grey water. The use of well water is regulated by the Province of BC, further details are available here.
Q. Can I use water from the creek that flows through my property?
The SCRD does not regulate the use of surface water in the region. A water licence from the Province is required for surface water use. For details on provincial regulations see here.
Q. How much does household water use increase in the summer?
A house with a large garden may use an average of 400 litres per day in the winter, but that can increase to thousands of litres of water per day in May, June, July and August when sprinklers and soaker hoses are used for watering.
Are you curious about your household water use? Join the growing community of Sunshine Coast households who receive their personal Monthly Water Use by email.
Q. What is the SCRD doing to conserve water?
The SCRD works to improve water efficiency year-round and conserve water during the summer, including water main repairs and replacements, optimizing flushing in the water treatment plants and hydrants, adjusting and limiting sports field irrigation, and consideration of pool and ice rink fill schedules.
Q. Is the SCRD increasing the water supply?
Yes. The Church Road Well Field project is scheduled for completion in September 2022. It will result in an increase of approximately 5 million litres of water per day for the 19,000 residents and commercial customers between Secret Cove and Soames Hill. Click here for details and updates.