Metro Vancouver residents are reducing their water use.
That combined with a rainy June and July meant water demand was lower than previously.
The mountain reservoirs that store Metro Vancouver's drinking water are still about 60 per cent full, although last month was the driest September here in more than a century.
A cool and rainy June and July is one reason why reservoir levels are normal for this time of year, despite a sunny August and September.
Another reason is that water consumption during hot summer evenings has gone down, likely because of new water conservation regulations that allow lawn sprinkling during early mornings only.
"It's time to thank residents and businesses for respecting regulations that allow lawn sprinkling during summer mornings only," Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore said. "That's helped to ensure we had plenty of high-quality drinking water available throughout the summer and into the fall."
Aug. 16 was the day this summer when the most water was used during a single day.
On that hot August day, regional and municipal water mains delivered 1.56 billion litres of water to homes and businesses throughout the region. That's a lot of water, but it's far less than the peak water days in previous summers, during which about two billion litres of water were consumed.
The 2012 peakday for water use was one of the lowest experienced in the last 20 years.
Darrell Mussatto, a Metro Vancouver director and the Utilities Committee chair, said morning-only lawn sprinkling has reduced water consumption during the evenings, when residents use a lot of water in kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms.
"This summer, there was a noticeable reduction in water use during hot summer evenings, when it can be more challenging for all the water mains and pumping stations to deliver enough water to meet peak and emergency water demands," Mussatto said. "If residents and businesses continue to use our water wisely, the regional district can push back the date when higher dams, bigger water mains and more powerful pumping stations will have to be built and paid for. Water conservation will minimize costs, for both the taxpayer and the environment."
Metro Vancouver has published a graph that compares hourly water consumption patterns during one-week periods in the summers of 2010 and 2012.
The 2012 data is indicated with a black line and shows a relatively smooth consumption pattern compared to the 2010 line shown in blue, which has high "spikes" of water demand during the evening.