Water Restrictions & Conservation
Outdoor watering restrictions are in effect every year from May 1 to October 15 in alignment with Metro Vancouver. The City supports and promotes sustainable water practices in the protection and conservation of our water resources. Watering restrictions also helps to stabilize water consumption and maintain consistent water pressure during the period of high demand in the summer months.
Our 4-stage watering restriction system is put in place as follows:
- Stage 1 restrictions are automatically implemented each year on May 1.
- Stage 2 to Stage 4 restrictions are implemented as needed.
Did you know? One hour of lawn sprinkling uses as much water as 25 toilet flushes, 5 loads of laundry and 5 dishwasher loads combined? Your lawn only needs approximately one inch of water (about one hour of watering) per week to stay healthy.
Stage 1 Restrictions
Residential lawn watering is permitted one day a week.
- Automatic watering is allowed 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- Manual watering is allowed 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Even numbered addresses: Saturdays
- Odd numbered addresses: Sundays
Non-residential lawn watering is permitted one day a week:
- Automatic watering is allowed 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.
- Manual watering is allowed 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
- Even numbered addresses: Mondays
- Odd numbered addresses: Tuesdays
These water restrictions only apply to lawns; watering of gardens, shrubs, trees and flower beds is permitted any day from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. for residential properties and from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. for non-residential properties if using a sprinkler, or anytime if hand watering or using drip irrigation.
When washing a boat or motor vehicle, water hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut off device.
Note: multi-family dwellings are considered even or odd according to the overall building number and not the unit number.
Stage 2 Restrictions
- All lawn watering is prohibited.
- Watering of trees, shrubs, and flowers by hand or using soaker hoses or drip irrigation at any time, or by using a sprinkler between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. any day.
- Vegetable gardens can be watered at any time.
Stage 3 Restrictions
- Lawn sprinkling is not permitted for residential or non-residential properties.
Residential and commercial gardens, shrubs, trees and flower beds may only be watered by hand, by containers or drip irrigation. Hand washing of vehicles is restricted to features required for safety (i.e. windows, lights and license plates). Refilling of private, commercial and public swimming pools is prohibited.
Stage 4 Restrictions
Outdoor water use in not permitted:
- No lawn sprinkling by residential and commercial properties
- No refilling of private, commercial and public garden ponds, ornamental fountains, hot-tubs or swimming pools
- No washing of vehicles using any method except for features required for safety (i.e. windows, lights and license plates)
- No watering of residential or non-residential gardens, shrubs, trees and flower beds by any method
To report a watering restriction violation, please call the City of White Rock Bylaws Department at 604-541-2181 or email the Water Team.
Water Exemption Permits
Water exemption permits are allowed under Stage 1 and Stage 2 water restrictions.
If you have planted a new lawn during summer outdoor water restrictions (May 1 - October 31) and the lawn has not yet established, you can request a temporary water exemption permit from the City.
- Download and complete the Water Exemption Permit Application (PDF)
- Permit Fees are $56
- Permits are valid for only three weeks (21 days) from the permit issue date
- Permitted watering times are every day for 21 days between the morning hours of 4 a.m. to 9 a.m.
A one-time renewal is available for residents unless the City has entered into Stage 3 water restrictions. Once we have entered into Stage 3 water restrictions, residents will not be able to renew their permit.
Water conservation is important to everyone. Conserving water not only benefits our natural ecosystems, but also helps residents save money. There are many ways to conserve water inside and outside your home from repairing leaky toilets to having a rain barrel to water your garden during the summer.
Conservation also helps sustain drinking water for present and future generations.
Work Towards Conservation
The City of White Rock is working towards conserving water with our consumption based billing, which provides an incentive to use less water. The City also has a 4-stage watering restriction system that runs from May 1 to October 31 every year to assist in water conservation.
- Read the Water Conservation Plan.
Learn more about water conservation in BC through the Province of British Columbia.