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Small Changes, for Big Savings: Calgary Saves Water

By Jennifer Chernishenko, Administrative Assistant at Integrated Sustainability

Think fast! How much water did Calgary use in 2014? Answer: 176 BILLION litres.

Sounds like a lot of water! And it is. According to an article written by Robson Fletcher for Metro, 176 billion litres is the equivalent of 10 Glenmore Reservoirs. However, the article goes on to say that despite the addition of over 272,000 people in 2014, Calgary used 2.1 billion litres less than in 2013. The article states that the installation of water meters has had the largest impact on water reduction; 98% of residents now pay per use instead of a flat rate.

Water flows out of the Glenmore Reservoir in this file photo taken during the time of the June 2013 flood. Calgary consumed enough water to fill and drain the massive reservoir 10 times over in 2014, but that’s actually the least water use, per capita, the city has seen in modern times.
Water flows out of the Glenmore Reservoir in this file photo taken during the time of the June 2013 flood. Calgary consumed enough water to fill and drain the massive reservoir 10 times over in 2014, but that’s actually the least water use, per capita, the city has seen in modern times.

Adam Campbell, Manager, Legal Affairs and Regulatory Specialist at Integrated Sustainability, commented that the article is “an interesting look at how a few small changes along with improved awareness, tighter management and monitoring, better technology, and stronger regulation and incentives can have a significant impact on water use rates.”

Campbell further notes that the concluding paragraph had a particularly impressive statistic where it states Calgary “remains on track to use less water in 2033 than it did in 2003…[and] consumption reduction has been so on-target on the residential side that the city’s next emphasis will be on working with industrial and commercial customers to reduce their water use.”

For more details, check out the article:

Fletcher, Robson. 2015. Calgary’s water consumption drops 17 per cent as population grows 30 per cent. Metro News, 6 April 2015, http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/1332774/calgarys-water-consumption-drops-17-per-cent-as-population-grows-30-per-cent/ (accessed 16 April 2015).