City moving to Stage 3 watering restrictions

Residents encouraged to conserve water


Following an announcement that eastern Vancouver Island has entered Level 4 drought, the City of Nanaimo is moving to Stage 3 watering restrictions. This level of restrictions maintains the even and odd day watering framework as in Stage 2, while asking residents to further reduce water use to avoid a watering ban.

On June 29, the Province elevated the 'drought level' on eastern Vancouver Island to 'Level 4 - Extremely Dry'. This is based on precipitation and stream levels. The drought level is not related to, and should not be confused with the City's watering restriction stages. However, the Province encourages local governments to implement stricter watering restrictions in response.

The City supports the Province's call for practising water conservation, particularly with discretionary outdoor water use. Here are some ways residents can take action in Stage 3:

  • Reduce lawn watering by decreasing run times, cutting back on the number of watering days and refraining from sprinkling lawn areas. Lawns naturally go dormant (golden) in the summer months and return to green with fall rains.
  • Avoid washing vehicles or boats, unless for safety reasons (windows and headlights).
  • Sweep outdoor surfaces such as driveways or decks with a broom rather than using a hose or power washing.
  • Retrofit old, inefficient or leaking irrigation systems.
  • Add topsoil and compost to aid in landscape water retention so you can decrease sprinkler run times.

For more information on watering restrictions, visit

Link to Strategic Plan: Encouraging water conservation supports Council's priority of implementing City Plan actions including the goal of maintaining resilient and regenerative ecosystems.

Key Points

  • Stage 3 offers flexibility for residents to decide where and how they cut back on water use; however, it is critical that reductions are implemented.
  • The City of Nanaimo encourages residents to let their lawns go golden. Outdoor watering uses twice the water compared to wintertime use.
  • The City is part of Team WaterSmart - a region-wide initiative that focuses on water conservation, and uniform communications, including a common framework to define watering restriction stages.
  • The City's water supply is in good shape with enough water to last into November.


"This is a cautious approach conserve water and make sure our robust supply of water lasts through the fall. Nanaimo residents have been practising water conservation for decades, to the point that our water usage has been declining every year. Great job, Nanaimo!"

City of Nanaimo


For media enquiries, please contact:
City of Nanaimo

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