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Calgary lifts outdoor watering restrictions

Just in time to bring that grass back to life, the City of Calgary is lifting the outdoor water restrictions.

Earlier this year, after a particularly dry spell through July and August, Calgary implemented stage one of its outdoor water restrictions. That came after asking Calgarians to reduce water use in July.

The watering restrictions were in place due to historic low flows in the Bow and Elbow Rivers. It was the first time in the City’s history that it implemented the restrictions due to drought.

Starting Oct. 31, the drought dial will be switched back to “dry” conditions, therefore lifting the outdoor water use restrictions that are in place.

Overall, the City of Calgary said it was able to save 1.5 billion litres of water.

“To continue to meet Calgary’s water needs, we must be efficient with our water use,” says Nicole Newton, Manager, Natural Environment & Adaptation.

“Being water-wise helps to keep our rivers healthy, extend the life of our infrastructure, and makes sure our neighbouring communities also have the water they need. Together, we can protect the water we all depend on.”

Citizens are also being encouraged to continue their reduced water use this winter and into the spring.

In the recently tabled drought resilience strategy, it suggested Calgary could see seasonal water restrictions implemented by bylaw, annually.

“Approaches such as outdoor watering schedules would move The City closer in line with other regional and leading drought-prone communities such as Airdrie, Chestermere, Okotoks, Vancouver and Denver,” the drought strategy states (page 25).

Pamela Duncan with the City’s climate and environment unit, told LWC in a previous article that the City of Calgary could be looking at that as a part of the demand strategies.

“A permanent water schedule would build in that conservation ethic that we could have that schedule all summer long so that we can see behaviour change around better times, more efficient times to water,” she said.

The City of Calgary said that its climate modelling tells them that Calgary will continue to experience more severe and frequent weather events, such as drought, in the future.