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9th July 2015
Metro Vancouver water restrictions lead to several warnings, but few tickets

Water restriction enforcement problems?
By Jon Azpiri
Web Producer Global News

It’s been four days since Metro Vancouver rolled out rare stage two water restrictions across the region due to a lack of rain.
But officials say hundreds of people have been warned, but few have been issued a ticket.

Here are some of the numbers:

Vancouver – 600 warnings, 2 tickets
Surrey – 213 warnings, 2 tickets
Coquitlam – 102, 0 tickets
North Vancouver – 77 warnings, 1 ticket

“I think most municipalities, they would rather start with a carrot instead of the hammer,” said Metro Vancouver Chair Greg Moore.

But if the situation is really as serious as officials contend, why aren’t more people facing the consequences?

“Mostly they’re actually looking for fires….so that’s a higher priority for us right now,” said Moore. “We will start to enforce the water, especially if this continues.”

Ironically, despite the dire warnings and tough new restrictions, daily water usage is actually up across Metro Vancouver to 1.6 billion litres a day, more than any single day last year.

Under the new rules, watering lawns is permitted in the morning but not during the evening hours when demand is highest for household use. The increased restrictions apply to lawn sprinkling only and not to watering flowers, vegetables, shrubs and trees.

“You don’t have to wash your car, you don’t actually have to water your grass…even though it’s not a bylaw right now and restricts it. There’s things that we can all do. And if we all do those things and bring that average water consumption down right now, we might never have to get to Stage 3 water restrictions.”

-with files from Rumina Daya and Paula Baker