October 17, 2016 – Energy & Water Services’ Engineering & Utilities Group has moved!

Customers wanting to come to our office to pay their bills can now visit us at the new Campus Energy Centre, at 6130 Agronomy Rd. The old steam plant at 2040 West Mall has done very well to provide heat to the academic core of the campus for over 90 years! To learn more about this fabulous facility we now call home, please visit the Project page. The Campus Energy Centre is accessible, with an elevator.

Power house 1925

UBC Power House (Steam Plant) 1925


According to a Globe and Mail story published January 7th, water restrictions will start two weeks early this year. Dr. Hans Schreier, a watershed management professor here at UBC had this to say about last year’s drought situation: “We should have done this much earlier” and that it is time to face the new reality of climate change. Also of note from the article: “Water consumption in Metro Vancouver is about 350 litres per person a day. In Europe, the average is about 150 litres.” Visit the UBC Sustainability website to learn about what UBC is doing to reduce water consumption and what you can do.

photo credit: iStock

photo credit: iStock



Metro Vancouver will return to Stage One through October 15, given both supply and demand have stabilized at normal levels for this time of the year over the past few weeks. The combination of the recent rain and a lower demand for water means that an adequate supply of water has been re-established in our reservoirs. Given climatologists are predicting a dry fall, we should continue to be mindful that conservation remains a high priority.

Residents and businesses throughout the region should be applauded for playing by the rules and conserving this precious resource. Within 48 hours of implementing Stage Three restrictions, collectively, we never used more than 1.2 billion litres of water per day. As an institution, UBC was highly successful in our efforts. The graph below highlights the overall impact of all the water conserving efforts. There has been a reduction of 295 million liters since stage 2 restrictions compared to last year.




Lawn Sprinkling 2015

The Metro Vancouver region has returned to Stage 2 of the water use restrictions, from the third stage, effective September 9th. All municipalities are requested to continue their water conservation efforts. Metro Vancouver will continue to monitor the reservoir levels and water consumption. Once it is established that usage is within the normal range of consumption and reservoirs are remaining within normal levels, there will be the opportunity to further relax water use restrictions.

Current Lawn Sprinkling Regulations
– Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. – 9 a.m. Monday
– Odd-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 4 a.m. – 9 a.m. Thursday

– Even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. – 6 a.m. Wednesday
– Odd- numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns 1 a.m. – 6 a.m. Tuesday
– Municipal parks must follow the once weekly lawn sprinkling times.

Visit Metro Vancouver’s website for more information about the Water Shortage Response Plan and Stage 2 restrictions.


July 27, 2015 – STAGE 3 CONTINUES

1672_STAGE3 Waterwise Facebook header

Hurray for the rain! Unfortunately we will need a considerable amount more as Stage 3 restrictions remain in place. As you probably know, due to the ongoing hot and dry weather, continued high water demand and declining reservoirs levels, Metro Vancouver has implemented Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Response Plan further restricting water use in the region. Metro Vancouver is trying to ensure that we all have the necessary supply of water through the early fall for use in our homes and businesses, and for critical community needs such as fire suppression.

The stage 2 restrictions were inadequate to reduce consumption and prevent potential water shortages in the future. At UBC we measured a 15% water consumption reduction as result of the stage 2 restrictions, but more reductions are required.

Please recognize the significant implications of this water shortage to our broader community. It is critical that UBC do more than just meet Metro Vancouver’s prescriptive restrictions (see below), but rather we need to meet the intent of the restrictions and further limit our water use.

We are appealing to all members of our University community to conserve our water resources.

What you can do to save water at UBC
• Look for opportunities to use less water in research activities
• Report leaky faucets, shower-heads, or toilets
• Creatively save and re-use water for non-potable water uses

For water conservation tips in other languages, please choose: Chinese, Farsi, Korean or Punjabi. For more water conservation tips, please visit UBC Sustainability.

For links to more information about the Stage 3 Water Restrictions please visit:
Metro Vancouver website

A summary of what is prohibited and permitted with Stage 3 restrictions are as follows:

Stage 3: Prohibitions

• Lawn sprinkling is prohibited;
• Municipal exemption permits for new-lawns or nematode application are prohibited;
• Watering of trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative planters and vegetable gardens by sprinklers or soaker hoses is prohibited;
• Private pressure washing is prohibited;
• Washing of driveways, sidewalks and parkades for aesthetic purposes is prohibited;
• Washing of all cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and other recreational and vehicles is prohibited;
• Municipal parks – all forms of watering are prohibited;
• Operation of ornamental fountains is prohibited;
• Filling or refilling of private garden ponds is prohibited.

Stage 3: Permitted Uses

• Hand watering of trees, shrubs, flowers, decorative planters and vegetable gardens using a spring-loaded shutoff nozzle, containers or a drip irrigation system is permitted;
• Watering of turf at turf farms or flowers and vegetables at commercial gardens is permitted.
• Hosing of outdoor surfaces (e.g. driveways, sidewalks, roofs) if required to avoid public health and safety concerns or to prepare a surface for painting/sealing or similar treatment is permitted;
• Commercial pressure washing for health and safety purposes or to prepare as surface for painting or similar purposes is permitted;
• Sports playing field (including sand-based) and school yard watering at minimum levels as required to maintain areas in useable condition is permitted;
• Artificial turf requiring wetting and outdoor tracks if required for dust control or safety reasons is permitted.