After a sustained period with no steady rain and a heat warning in effect, the City of Guelph is enforcing watering restrictions for level 1 yellow.

At level 1 yellow, lawn watering is restricted from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on odd or even calendar dates by address number. Odd-numbered houses can water on odd-numbered dates and even-numbered houses on even dates.

“These hot, dry conditions, with little relief and low rainfall in the forecast ahead, are the primary reason we’ve moved from level blue to yellow,” said Karen McKeown, outside water use program coordinator at the City of Guelph. “As always, we encourage our community to use water wisely, especially through drier periods when water levels are lower everywhere.”

In addition to rainfall and dry conditions, other indicators that change local watering restrictions include local river flows, how much water the community is using, and how much the City is producing or pumping through the system. The City will continue to monitor conditions and work with the Grand River Conservation Authority throughout the summer to decide if water use levels need to change again, up or down.

Outside water uses such as watering trees and flower or food gardens, running sprinklers for children’s recreational use, and at-home car washing is still allowed. At-home car washing must use a hose with a shut–off nozzle or a bucket of water.

“We’re thankful that Guelph residents and businesses are conscientious water users, especially during the dry summer months,” said McKeown. “The City’s outside water use program is still one of the most successful and recognized water conservation programs in Ontario, and we have our community to thank for that.”

Guelph is a groundwater community. Groundwater comes from rain and melted snow that seeps into open spaces and cracks in soil and rock. As temperatures rise and we experience low precipitation, our water supply infrastructure needs to work harder to keep up with demands, especially during peak water usage times. Guelph’s water supply is not unlimited and is greatly dependent on local precipitation, which is why the City promotes responsible and efficient outdoor and indoor water use at all times.


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