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Metro Vancouver moved up to the second-highest stage of its water shortage plan on Monday, which prohibits lawn sprinkling and car washing. In other parts of the province, restrictions are in place on fishing and farmers fear they may have to sell their cattle.

Rafal Gerszak/The Globe and Mail

Residents in the Vancouver area can turn on their lawn sprinklers in the morning under eased watering restrictions.

Metro Vancouver, the authority that governs water use for 21 local cities and municipalities, has downgraded its water restrictions to Stage 1.

Stage 3 restrictions prohibiting residential lawn watering were implemented in mid-July because hot, dry weather and increased water use reduced the level of local reservoirs.

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Metro Vancouver downgraded the restrictions to Stage 2 on Sept. 9, allowing residents to water lawns once a week and wash driveways, sidewalks and parkades for health and safety reasons.

The three local reservoirs now stand at about 60 per cent capacity, which Metro Vancouver says is a result of recent rains and reduced water consumption during cooler weather.

Stage 1 restrictions will remain in place until Oct. 15 and allow residents to water their lawns in the morning but not in the evening when demand for water is highest.

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