Stage 1 Outdoor Water Restrictions

From Andrew Chin, Ward 4 Liason:

Stage 1 Outdoor Water Restrictions have been declared citywide by The City of Calgary effective today, August 15, 2023, until further notice.

“We continue to see dry conditions and record low natural flow levels on the Bow and Elbow Rivers,” explains Nicole Newton, Manager of Natural Environment and Adaptation. “Also, Environment Canada is predicting a warm and dry winter, so this is an important measure to help us sustain Calgary’s water supply in the Glenmore Reservoir through to the spring, as well as to support our neighbours and the river health downstream.”

The quality of The City’s drinking water remains high; this is an issue of quantity, not quality.

These restrictions apply to all customers that use water from The City of Calgary including all Calgary residences, businesses and City operations. Calgarians can still use water outdoors during Stage 1; however, there are restrictions on how and when water can be used as outlined in the Water Utility Bylaw:

  • Using a sprinkler to water lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs is limited to one day per week, for up to a maximum of two hours,according to a specific schedule that is determined by house number:
    • House numbers ending with an even number can water on Wednesday or Saturday.
    • House numbers ending with an odd number can water on Thursday or Sunday.
    • Watering is only permitted between the hours of 4-7 a.m., 9-11 a.m. or 7-10 p.m. Always check soil moisture first and use only the water that is needed.
  • On any day and at any time, Calgarians can:
    • Water their gardens, trees and shrubs using a handheld watering can or hose with shut-off spray.
    • Water new grass or seed.
    • Fill an outdoor pool or hot tub.
    • Use water collected in a rain barrel.
    • Water for construction purposes such as grading, compaction or dust control.

The following outdoor watering activities are not allowed:

  • Washing outdoor surfaces, windows, exterior building surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or walkways. As an alternative, use a broom to clean hard surfaces.
  • Washing a car on a driveway or street.
  • Filling fountains or decorative features.

There are exceptions for health and safety reasons or core business needs:

  • Washing outdoor surfaces for childcare facilities, food and beverage establishments and kennel and animal care facilities.
  • Washing vehicles to follow health and safety regulations.
  • Watering plants, shrubs and trees for sale.
  • Exterior window washing and car washing provided by a business with a license to provide these services.

We know we can count on Calgarians to do their part to help us during this drought situation; however, while The City strives to take an education-first approach with citizens, violations of these restrictions may lead to fines starting at $400.

For the most recent updates, watering schedule information and full outdoor water restriction details, visit calgary.ca/restrictions or call 311.

Click here for b-roll showing examples of efficient outdoor water use.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

Andrew Chin

Ward 4 liaison to Cllr. Sean Chu