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City of Lethbridge imposes 10 per cent reduction in water usage

Lethbridge takes steps to curb water usage Lethbridge takes steps to curb water usage
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The City of Lethbridge is taking proactive steps in an effort to decrease overall water use by 20 per cent by 2030.

"We’ve asked the public and residents to do their part and voluntarily conserve water at this time, and we felt it was important that the city be seen in doing our part," said Mark Svenson, engineering and environment manager with the city.

"So, what we've done is impose a 10 per cent reduction in our water usage."

Some of the changes coming to city departments include:

  • The adjusting of street sweeping practices to reduce water use, where possible;
  • The flushing of hydrants only as needed for Health and Safety/operational requirements;
  • The reduction of water usage when washing bridges, signs and concrete medians; and,
  • The turning off of decorative fountains while voluntary measures and water restrictions are in place. (Public drinking water stations will remain available).

Svenson adds that the parks department will also be reducing the amount of irrigation and maintenance done to green spaces.

"While we got some much needed rain, it doesn't fix the potential issue of a drought this year," he said.

The steps are being taken to encourage residents to do their part to conserve water.

"We can all expect to see some slightly dustier vehicles, perhaps, as the summer rolls along," said Kathleen Sheppard, executive director of Environment Lethbridge.

"One of the obvious ones is around washing vehicles, and that's something that many people can cut back on."

According to the city, the Oldman River Reservoir is sitting above 40 per cent, while the St. Mary’s Reservoir is around 50 per cent.

Sheppard says the changes the city has brought forward will make a change in the amount of water being used, even if it’s only 10 per cent.

There are currently no water restrictions in place for residents or businesses.

Sheppard says monitoring how much water you use, especially outside, will make a difference this summer.

"Just be really conscious and really understanding that your lawn and garden doesn't need as much water as you think it does, and then doing the really easy things like not watering in the heat of the day, only watering once a week at most," Sheppard said.

City departments will track water conservation and reduction efforts during the coming months.

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