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Alberta testing water tech as possible extreme drought looms


Alberta is spending millions of dollars on technology projects to help conserve, track and manage water usage as the province faces the risk of extreme drought conditions into the spring and summer.

The provincial government has spent more than $75 million to support more than 100 projects through the Water Innovation Program – including water recycling technology being tested at Calgary's water treatment facilities.

"These innovative projects are part of our work to modernize and transform how water is used in this province, finding new and better ways to manage, conserve and utilize our most precious resource," said Rebecca Schulz, Alberta's minister of environment and protected areas.

A project developed at the University of Alberta is first being trialled in Calgary to determine how well it's able to reuse and recycle water.

The program, which uses a “granular sludge reactor,” is operational at Calgary's water treatment facilities to increase water capacity.

Calgary recorded more than 35 centimetres of snow from last Tuesday to Saturday, exceeding the monthly snowfall average for March in a single event.

Data from Environment and Climate Change Canada shows Calgary has received about 62 centimetres of snow so far this month.

Despite the recent dumping of snow, the City of Calgary says it is preparing for the possibility of water restrictions in May if dry conditions continue.

"Conditions have improved moderately since mid-winter, but the Calgary region remains in a drought," reads the most recent drought update from the city, published last week.

The city is already planning to conserve water through the spring by limiting usage for vehicle cleaning and watering parks. City crews will also reuse stormwater for golf courses, parks and city flower baskets. Top Stories

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