Now in Effect!

Level 5 Watering Restrictions

AUGUST 16, 2023

With information provided by the Province of BC, the City of Merritt has now entered LEVEL FIVE Watering Restrictions. Much of the province is in severe drought conditions. The Coldwater River in particular is in a crisis situation.  As a “losing reach” or “sinking river” where incoming water drains into aquifers that supply the city, fish habitats are stressed to the level where the river may lose its ability to support the lives of fish and all the other animals that depend on that ecosystem. Every resident needs to conserve water wherever possible to protect our drinking water and fish habitats.

The City of Merritt encourages every citizen to practice more extensive water conservation methods, and consider Level 5 watering restrictions as a minimum.

Level 5 watering restrictions define NO LAWN WATERING and NO GARDEN SPRINKLERS.  Flowers, trees, and shrubs can no longer be watered using potable City water. Residents may collect grey water, such as when washing dishes, to use for non-food-producing outdoor plants.

Only VEGETABLE gardens and fruit trees can be HANDWATERED with a hose with an automatic shut-off valve or by drip irrigation system.

OUTDOOR WASHING is NOT PERMITTED unless ordered by a regulatory authority.  Washing vehicle windows is permitted for safety reasons. Commercial car washes remain open.

Pools and hot tubs can NOT be topped up or filled.

Bulk water usage is NOT PERMITTED, with the exception of drinking water. Key FOBs will be turned off.

Lawn Watering Days


Lawn Watering Hours



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Non-residential Water Usage

The City of Merritt is also working towards Level 5 watering restrictions on city-owned property. Nearby agricultural users are moving from 50% usage to a full shut-off.  Commercial, industrial and school districts are asked to do an outdoor water shut off. Some parks that are required for sports tournaments will receive limited watering to ensure they remain usable. Contractors that require water for construction are required to bring in their own bulk-water, rather than using potable City water. Bulk water for potable usage is still allowed. Merritt Fire Rescue is also limiting their water usage to essential needs only.

Outdoor Water Conversation Policy
| Updated July 23, 2023

Upon consultation with the Policy Review Committee, council approved amendments to the City’s Outdoor Water Conversation Policy on July 21, 2023.  These changes include:

  • 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 clarity of the watering restrictions.