Level 3 Watering Restrictions In Effect

UPDATE MAY 9, 2024

With lower than average snowpack in the region this winter, groundwater levels are currently projected to suffer throughout summer 2024 if the region doesn’t see more rain or snow in the coming months. The current raw data shows groundwater levels notably below historic 10-year min/max levels.  

The City of Merritt is working on a management plan for the year intended to reduce the likelihood of highly restrictive levels 4 and 5. Part of this effort is to continue watering restrictions and enforcement early in the year.

As impending drought and wild fire risk increase, the City is keeping LEVEL THREE Watering Restrictions and is encouraging residents to practice water conservation year-round to protect our drinking water and fish habitats, particularly on the Coldwater River, which is a “losing reach” or “sinking river” where incoming water drains into the city’s aquifers.

Water Conservation Methods

  • Collect rainwater. Consider purchasing a rain barrel.
  • Use an auto shut-off valve when washing outdoors and try to direct run-off onto permeable surfaces like lawns or gravel.
  • Let lawns go brown and dormant in the summer.
  • Consider replacing lawns and ornamental gardens with drought-tolerant plants. Learn about Xeriscaping.
  • Try to avoid new plantings in the heat of the summer.  Instead plant in the spring or fall only.
  • Take shorter showers and avoid baths.
  • Avoid letting the water run when brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
  • Save grey water for watering plants.

Level 3 Watering Restrictions

Level Three Watering restrictions limit lawn watering to 2 TIMES a week. Hand watering or drip-irrigating gardens and washing with an auto shut-off valve is permitted anytime. This does not include lawns.

Watering Days

  • Even Numbered Addresses:  Thursday &  Sunday
  • Odd Numbered Addresses:  Tuesday  &  Saturday
  • Please note: Strata complexes and mobile home parks should water according to unit number.

Watering Hours

  • Manual Sprinkler:  6 am – 8 am   | OR |   7 pm – 9 pm
  • Automated Irrigation: 12 am – 2am

Other Water Usage

  • Washing & Hand Watering:  Hand watering of plants (excluding lawns), washing vehicles, or power washing with a user-controlled flow nozzle with shut-off valve is permitted at ANYTIME during Level 3 Watering Restrictions. The City recommends that residents wash vehicles over grass or gravel when possible so that run off water drains into the earth instead of down the drains.
  • Drip Irrigation: Watering of gardens, such as vegetable gardens, with a drip irrigation system is permitted at anytime.  To limit water dissipation in the heat of the day, the City recommends scheduling all watering for the early morning or late evenings.
  • Pools, Spas, & Ponds: At this time, residents may only top up swimming pools, spas, or ponds.

Outdoor Water Conversation Policy

The City of Merritt updated the Outdoor Water Conversation Policy on July 21, 2023.  Changes included:

  • Modification of the requirement to strictly adhere to the Province of BC’s Drought Information Portal, thereby enabling the City to respond to the unique needs of the community.
  • Changes to the watering days and times. Namely in Level 3, even-numbered addresses are now Thursday & Sunday. And in Level 4, residents are now limited to watering with a manual sprinkler one time a day: 6am-8am.
  • Strata complexes were included with mobile homes, which should water in accordance with their unit number.
  • A new graphic chart was created to help enhance the clarity of the watering restrictions.


The City of Merritt prefers voluntary compliance.  Those who contravene the Bylaw will be sent a warning letter explaining the infraction.  The focus will be on education and not enforcement. Those who refuse to comply may be subject to having their water service suspended.