Southern Alberta has been experiencing dry, hot weather and it’s taking a toll on water supplies in the region.
The city is now asking for voluntary action from residents to help prevent the need for mandatory restrictions in the coming days and weeks.
“The City of Lethbridge takes its water from the Oldman River and largely that comes from water at the Oldman Dam, so we have been looking at those water levels,” said Matt Harker, water and wastewater engineer with the city.
“They are decreasing and decreasing and not really going back up without any rain.”
Residents, businesses and institutions are asked to take whatever actions they can – big or small – to conserve water.
Ways to conserve water can include:
- Limiting all outdoor uses including watering lawns and washing cars
- Not running the tap unnecessarily. Consider reusing water where possible
- Minimizing shower time and bath levels
- Using the washer and dishwasher only when necessary
- Flushing toilets only when necessary
- Brainstorming ideas within your own businesses, institutions or work areas to see where other conservation efforts might make sense
While the water conservation effort is in effect, the City of Lethbridge is rationing water usage in the following ways:
- Suspending washing of City vehicles unless necessary for safety reasons
- Reducing watering in feature parks, sportsfields and schools by 25 per cent
- Reducing watering in other parks and boulevards by 50 per cent
- Temporarily closing Gyro Spray Park at Nicholas Sheran and Rotary Fountain in Galt Gardens at the end of the day Thursday. Legacy Park Spray Park will remain open at this time.
- Dry street sweeping where possible
Water conservation efforts are in place until further notice.
The City of Lethbridge provides water to Coaldale, Coalhurst, Picture Butte, Monarch, Diamond City, Shaughnessy, Iron Springs, Turin and other regional partners. All communities are requested to help conserve water.
“Currently the City of Lethbridge is producing about 110 million liters a day and all those people are a part of that as well so we would like to reduce that. In a drought situation every drop counts and is really valuable,” added Harker.
Harker said as for moving to mandatory restrictions, that would be up to the provincial government.
“We currently have meetings set up with them next week to discuss the situation further and maybe this could be escalated into more of a level one type water restrictions,” he said.
It’s been several years since the city has implemented water restrictions — the most recent was in 2017 due to water quality concerns in the spring.
As for quantity challenges, that hasn’t happened since the early 2000’s.