CVRD News Release: Stage 1 water restrictions begin across Cowichan region May 1, 2023
COWICHAN VALLEY, BC – Once again on May 1, water systems across the Cowichan Valley
Regional District (CVRD) will collectively implement Stage 1 water restrictions in an effort to
conserve water use on residential properties and ensure aquifers and lakes can withstand the
increasingly dry summers.
Local governments and water purveyors across the Cowichan region continue to collaborate and
modify the water restriction stages to ensure they balance the needs of residents and those of
the watersheds, in recognition of the extreme drought conditions experienced in recent summers.
“Last year we formally introduced Stage 4 restrictions in yet another year of record low
precipitation,” said Todd Etherington, Manager of Utility Operations for the Cowichan Valley
Regional District. “Based on feedback from residents and the business community, and the
likelihood of needing to implement this heightened stage of restrictions again this summer, we’ve
made several changes to Stage 4 for 2023.”
Stage 4 prohibits all outdoor uses of potable water, with the exception of two-hour daily maximums
for hand-watering and micro-drip irrigation of vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and one-hour
daily limits for ornamental trees, shrubs and flower gardens. To prevent watering during the heat
of the day and reduce peak demand, water times in all stages are before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on
your designated watering day as per the 2023 Water Use Restrictions table.
As in 2022, movement between water restriction stages in the Cowichan region will be happen in
sync with the provincial drought levels as determined by the Ministry of Environment and Climate
“We’re incredibly fortunate in our region to have a high degree of collaboration between our local
and regional governments, First Nations and improvement districts, allowing for a highly
coordinated and effective approach to our summer water scarcity issues,” said Aaron Stone, Chair
of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Living a ‘new normal’ means using only as much water
as we need, and getting better at storing water so we have enough to support our ecosystems
Water restrictions apply to all CVRD water systems, City of Duncan, Municipality of North
Cowichan, Cowichan Tribes, Town of Ladysmith, Town of Lake Cowichan, Mill Bay Water District,
Cowichan Bay Waterworks, and Diamond Improvement District. Residents of other improvement
districts and private water systems in the region are encouraged to follow regional water
restrictions, but should contact their local system operators for information on any specific
regulations which may apply to their system.
Visit the New Normal Cowichan website to learn more about the updated stages of water-use
restrictions, including a Water Restrictions Map to find the current stage of restrictions on each
water system in the region.