Water Conservation Guidelines

Bowen Island Municipality’s Water Conservation Guidelines are based on the Metro Vancouver Drinking Water Conservation plan in order to encourage water conservation and promote awareness.

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The guidelines define four levels of water conservation for users of Municipal drinking water systems. Stage 1 is recommended by default between May 1 and October 15.

These guidelines are intended to manage demand for drinking water during the summer months, and if necessary during times of emergencies. This is important because:

  • rainfall is lower and demand is higher in the summer
  • climate change is affecting rainfall frequency and intensity
  • storage capacity is limited
  • water shortages may result from unforeseen emergency situations such as earthquakes

The guidelines are voluntary, and we encourage water users on the island to support the conservation of our drinking water by following them.

Private well users will also benefit from these guidelines.

The recommended water conservation stage for the entire island is posted and updated regularly on the Municipality’s Alerts and Advisories webpage. We may occasionally recommend increased stages of water conservation in specific water systems depending on the source and storage levels for that system. 

Water Conservation Stages

Drought Conditions

Drought is a recurrent feature of climate involving a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, resulting in a water shortage. For the latest information, see the Drought Information Portal.

Drought classifications are shown in the chart below. Read more about our current drought information.

Drought Level Classification

Be prepared: read these water conservation tips.

Creative water conservation methods for all Bowen Island Municipal water systems

Bowen Island water comes from rainfall collected in the aquifers and water sheds. We do not have a unlimited amount of water. Please read the following water conservation methods for all Municipal Water Systems. By helping conserve water, we can all minimize the impact on our environment and make our water systems more sustainable.

Save water inside your home

  • Turn off the water when shaving, brushing teeth, and washing dishes. This can save 10 to 40 litres/day.
  • Check for leaky toilets and replace older bathroom faucet nozzles.
  • Install low flow toilets – they can save 6 to 14 litres per flush while low flow showerheads can save 8 litres/minute.
  • Wash produce in a pan half-filled with water instead of using a strainer. Use this water for household plants.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load.

Save water outside your home

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  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean the driveway and sidewalk. A hose uses 23 litres/minute.
  • Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car and use the hose only for rinsing.
  • Wash your car using soap and water from a bucket. The hose uses 23 litres/minute, but using a bucket saves you at least 2 minutes’ worth of water (46 litres).
  • Water the garden during early morning or evening hours when temperatures are cooler to avoid evaporation.
  • Grow the grass at least 2 to 3 inches. Taller grass shades new growth and reduces evaporation.
  • An hour of sprinkling uses about 1300 litres of water.
  • Use a Rain Barrel to collect free water from your roof for your garden.

Other innovative ways to save water

  • When you’re craving a cool glass of water, don’t run the faucet until the water gets cold. Try keeping a jug of water in the fridge. This way you can have a cold glass of water whenever you like!
  • Remove weeds in your lawn and garden. This reduces competition for water while making the rest of the yard look great!
  • Plant a water wise garden, which contains plants that need little water and can cope with long dry spells. Placing mulch in your garden is also a good way to conserve water. It reduces erosion and discourages weeds. Spread grass clippings or other mulch materials around the base of plants and shrubs.
  • Reduce your shower by 5 minutes. This can save up to 100 litres of water.

Tips for private well users

You can take steps to protect your water supply and to deal with a dry well. Below are some suggestions for private well-users to avoid unpleasant surprises and have peace of mind:

  • Check your water level, if you haven’t already
  • Consider speaking to a qualified local water technician about installing a well depth monitor to notify you when your well reaches a lower-than-normal level
  • Work with one of the local water companies or a group of neighbours to coordinate tanker truck deliveries or create communal pump and storage systems
  • Consider purchasing a storage tank that will work in coordination with the natural recharge capacity of your well and will help to protect you from sudden water outages
  • Remember that water quality and characteristics can be affected when the water table changes drastically, this may be a first indicator that water levels are low
  • Talk to neighbours, especially if you are on a shared well or a shared aquifer, to agree on water conservation strategies and share updates on the level of the well
  • Learn more tips about being “Wellsmart” at WellSmart or look in the Bowen Phone Book under “Water Systems”

Some suggestions for conserving water can be viewed here.

Waterscape Bowen Island project

“Waterscape Bowen Island” project is an exploration of the story of water on Bowen Island.