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'Every drop counts': City of Calgary encouraging residents to reduce water usage


The City of Calgary has announced its implementation of a water reductions advisory, which will go into effect immediately as a way of encouraging Calgarians to voluntarily reduce their water usage.

“At the City of Calgary, we've continued to reduce our water use and look for more ways to conserve water in our day-to-day operations,” said Nicole Newton, manager of natural environment and adaptation.

“We are strongly advising Calgarians to join us in this effort to help manage the water supply in the Bow and Elbow rivers. Calgarians can start now by reducing water and theirs as they begin their yard work this spring.”

Actions recommended for residents include making sure to always check the weather forecast and avoid watering if rain is expected.

The city also advised to only water lawns early in the morning or late in the evening to help “make every drop count” and to start limiting outdoor watering to a maximum of four hours per week.

“It's a good responsible approach to guide your efforts in gardening this year in Calgary's dry climate and helps Calgarians prepare for drier conditions and when water restrictions are in place later this season,” Newton added.

In June, the city will bring forward changes to its water utility bylaw and provide an update to Calgary’s drought response as dry conditions persist in southern Alberta.

When the bylaw is passed, plans will be implemented at that time which will include appropriate water scheduling stages and work with businesses to help them understand the requirements.

Moving forward, the city says it will continue to monitor many indicators of drought, especially how quickly the mountain snowpack melts and the amount of spring rain the Calgary region receives to inform on upcoming water restrictions.

This comes on the heels of the Government of Alberta announcing its finalization of water-sharing agreements, including one for the Bow River Basin.

If the Bow River water sharing agreement is activated this season, in response to conditions in the Bow River Basin, Calgary is committed to implementing drought response measures that collectively could achieve a five to 10 per cent reduction in overall water use.

Since February, Alberta's drought command team has been in negotiations with major water licence holders.

They have been developing water-sharing agreements for the Red Deer River, Bow River and Old Man River.

This comes as wildfire season is underway in Alberta, with a heightened risk due to drought.

As of April 19, there are 48 wildfires burning in the province, according to the Alberta Wildfire status dashboard.

Forty-four are under control and four are being held.

Over 130 wildfires have been extinguished this season.

Of those, 70 per cent are suspected to be started by people. Top Stories

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