Water-Cooled Air Conditioners to be Illegal in Montreal as of January 2018

As of January 2018, running an air-conditioner connected to the aqueduct that does not have a water recycling system will be prohibited and fined, according to Montreal By-law 13-023. All air conditioning units that use a drinkable water cooling system need to be retired by December 31st, 2017.

The purpose of the law is to get devices used for cooling (air conditioners) and watering the ground (sprinkler systems) off the drinking water circuit at a time when the population needs the water most.

If you have an air conditioner installed that uses water from the aqueduct, it will have to be replaced. Needless to say, if you’re in the market for a new air conditioner now, it’s important you don’t buy one that will be illegal in a couple of years.

In addition, the by-law sates that any continuous residential use of aqueduct water will be illegal except where there is a freezing risk or a need for a temporary water supply.

The city began enforcing laws around drinking water since about 2000, aiming to better ensure the quality and of course quantity of water at times of greater need.

Other recent changes to Montreal Water Usage  (2015)

When can you use a sprinkler system?

Using a portable sprinkler or porous hose in Montreal is permitted from 8pm – 11pm.


  • Even numbered buildings can water their lawns and hedges on even-numbered days.
  • Odd-number buildings on odd-numbered days.

And if you have a pool, you can fill it anytime between April 1 – May 15th. However, after May 15th residents are prohibited from filling a pool between 6am and 8pm.