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'We're in pretty good shape': Calgary goes low in water consumption after state of local emergency declared


On a day that a local state of emergency was declared in Calgary, city residents answered a request from the mayor and emergency officials to use less water.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek gave a brief update early Sunday morning, delivering a relatively good-news report.

She said the city consumed 438 million litres of water Saturday, below the threshold level of 480 million litres a day that it needs for consumption to match supply.

Gondek said that was the lowest amount of water Calgary has consumed since water restrictions were announced in early June.

“That is better than we hoped to achieve,” she said.

She said the city has 634 million litres on hand which should be sufficient to meet demand and provide a surplus in the event of an emergency such as a fire.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” she said.

The main site of Calgary's water main break on Sunday, June 16, 2024. (Photo: Jordan Kanygin)

“The other good news,” she added, “is that we were blessed with rain.”

She praised city residents, and residents of Airdrie, for taking to social media to post photos of their water capture instruments, including buckets, milk jugs and rain barrels.

She said using social media to promote water conservation was an excellent choice and helpful to encourage others to conserve water, and urged city residents to keep doing it, and hashtagging her.

“It (social media) doesn’t have to be all doom scrolling and bots,” she said.

Gondek acknowledged that she has been hearing from households who question why water restrictions have been placed on them while some businesses continue with business as usual when it comes to water consumption.

She said households make up two-thirds of the city’s water consumption, so it’s important to try to cut back.

As far as business consumption goes, she singled out The Ship & Anchor pub, which posted a list on social media of policies it has put in place to conserve water.

She asked for a little time when it comes to determining a course of action for summer festivals such as the Calgary Stampede, which is scheduled to take place July 5-14, which would fall into the estimated three to five-week timeline the city is suggesting it may need to get the pipe fixed.

She said the shutdown of the pipe is preventing water from being treated at the city’s Bearspaw plant.

“Our standard water supply has been cut in half,” she said.

She said a variety of strategies are being considered.

“We’re investigating using overland pipes,” she said, but added that experts need more time to analyze next steps.

“We can’t make decisions based on gut instinct alone," she said.

She also read a list of Father’s Day water saving strategies, including brushing your teeth in the shower, drinking beer instead of water and adding just a “whisper” of water to your whiskey.

The next update is scheduled for 2 p.m. To watch it live, log onto CTV Calgary. Top Stories

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