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Little drought relief for Calgary despite heavy snowfall, officials say

The City of Calgary is offering advice to residents to conserve water so they can possibly avoid further restrictions in the spring. (Pexels) The City of Calgary is offering advice to residents to conserve water so they can possibly avoid further restrictions in the spring. (Pexels)
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Calgarians could be seeing outdoor water restrictions as early as the spring if the region doesn't see a significant amount of precipitation in the coming months, officials said Monday.

The City of Calgary is monitoring conditions in the Rocky Mountains, but officials say even with a recent snowstorm, residents could be seeing very dry conditions this spring and summer.

"More precipitation is needed throughout the next few months to significantly improve drought conditions," said Nicole Newton, Calgary's manager of natural environment and adaptation, in a release.

If that doesn't happen, Newton says measures will need to be put in place to protect drinking water supplies and water necessary for fighting fires.

She adds if residents don't want to see any restrictions, they can take steps now to conserve all the water they can.

Some of the advice includes waiting until you have a full load of dishes in your dishwasher and washing machine before using them, switching off the tap when shaving or brushing your teeth and limiting your time in the shower.

Calgarians can also prepare their home for drought conditions such as adding mulch to gardens to prevent evaporation and setting up a rain barrel to capture rainwater.

The flow on the Bow and Elbow rivers has remained below average over the winter and total reservoir storage in the Bow watershed upstream is also below average, the city said.

There is good news, however, as the water level in the Glenmore Reservoir is slightly above average thanks to water conservation efforts and upgrade work that was finished in 2020.

More information on drought conditions and how to manage them can be found on the city's website.

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