Help Protect Our Drinking Water

In recent summers the CRD’s Regional Water Supply water distribution system has experienced challenges due to high, sudden demands because of region-wide irrigation system programs that all start at the same time. On residential lawn watering days, water demand can double with immediate increases that fall on the hour.

In the summer when indoor and outdoor morning water demands overlap considerable pressure is put on the water supply infrastructure. High and sudden demands for water impact the system’s ability to maintain adequate flow, pressure, and high-water quality standards.

To help alleviate this issue, CRD added a new lawn watering time (12:01-10 am on established watering days) to the Water Conservation Bylaw No. 4099 for timed irrigation systems only. This means:

  • Odd addresses can water their lawns with timed/automatic irrigation systems on Thursday and Sunday from 12:01 am to 10 am and 7 pm to 10 pm.
  • Even addresses can water their lawns with timed/automatic irrigation systems on Wednesday and Saturday from 12:01 am to 10 am and 7 pm to 10 pm.

The water system needs more automatic/timed irrigation systems to start between 12 am to 3 am. You can help CRD solve this problem by:

  • switching your automatic irrigation system to the new overnight lawn watering allowable time. Aim for your system to start between 12 am and 3 am to help make an impact.
  • scheduling your system to start off of the top of the hour and avoid starting your system at 4 am, 5 am and 6 am! Pick a random time instead.

Have more questions about water conservation and the water conservation bylaw? Check out the information sheetFrequently Asked Questions and the Watering Schedule.

Water Wisely

Water conservation bylaws are in effect May 1 through September 30, each and every year, for Greater Victoria as well as local water systems in electoral areas.

Follow the watering schedule and use water wisely outdoors to help save water, money, time, as well as help the environment.  

Water Wise Top Tips

Every summer, lawn care is a major draw in our water supply. For the most water savings this summer, let your lawn go golden! Lawns naturally go dormant in the summer months and will return to green with the fall rains.

If you do choose to water, consider these water wise tips:

  1. Use micro/drip irrigation systems for watering trees, shrubs, flowers, and veggie beds. These systems deliver water at a low pressure and volume directly to the roots where plants take water in. Be sure to check your watering system for leaks and breaks.
  2. It just takes 1 inch. Green lawns only need a maximum of one inch (2.5 cm) of water per week in the driest conditions. Place an empty tuna can or watering gauge in your yard to determine how long it takes your system to deliver one inch (2.5cm) of water to the lawn.
  3. Practice the cycle and soak method, water in short cycles with time in-between to allow water to soak in, and reduce water waste.
  4. Weed often and add mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation, keep soil cool, reduce competition and add nutrients back into the soil. For lawns, leave grass clippings to act as a mini-mulch.

For more tips on using water wisely outdoors read more>>

Benefits of Water Conservation

  • Lower water and energy bills by reducing your metered usage.
  • Reduced environmental impact by deferring the need to supply water from new sources and by reducing the energy and materials required to treat and deliver water.
  • Delay in building new water infrastructure that would be necessary to provide increased capacity if demand continues to rise.
  • Release of reservoir water to enhance fish habitat in the Sooke River, Charters River and Goldstream River.
  • Buffers against the unknown — With the effects of climate change, shorter, more intense rain events and longer, dry spells in the summer months are expected. Having as much water storage in the reservoir as possible provides the assurance that not only will there be a sufficient quantity of drinking water for the year, but provides the flexibility to deal with drought and forest fires.
  • Enhanced drinking water quality by maintaining higher water levels in our primary drinking water supply, the Sooke Lake Reservoir.

The capital region enjoys some of the highest quality drinking water in the world at a reasonable cost - maintaining this critical resource requires each of us to make water wise choices each and every day.


Determine your personal water use. Here in the capital region, residents use an average of 220 litres of water per person, per day. Use this water calculator to learn more.

Check out where water is used inside the home (PDF).

Learn more with these water conservation resources.