City of Calgary lifts outdoor water use restrictions, encourages Calgarians to use water wisely

Effective Tuesday, Oct. 31, The City of Calgary is lifting city-wide outdoor water use restrictions and returning the drought monitoring dial to dry conditions. Due to decreasing temperatures and seasonal shifts in water use, demand has stabilized and is not forecasted to increase.  

We want to thank all residents, businesses and regional customers for following outdoor water restrictions over the past two months. These efforts helped tremendously to reduce water demand during drought, which was caused by a low snowpack and early snowmelt, persistent hot, dry weather conditions and low flows on the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Together we were able to save 1.5 billion litres of water, the equivalent of 606 Olympic size swimming pools. 

“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.” 

Even though there are no outdoor water restrictions in place, Calgarians are encouraged to be thoughtful about their daily water use this winter and into next spring. Ways to continue reducing water use include:  

  • Check for and fix any household leaks in your home, especially toilets.  
  • Limit showers to five minutes or less and keep baths shallow.  
  • Use the dishwasher and washing machine only when required and with full loads.   
  • Install high efficiency fixtures such as toilets, showerheads, and faucets. 
  • Replace old appliances with high-efficiency models. 
  • While planning for next spring, homeowners are asked to consider how they can create yards and gardens which best suit Calgary’s climate.  

For tips on how to save water Calgarians are encouraged to visit

While this is the first time that The City of Calgary has required residents to reduce their outdoor water use due to drought, the Calgary region is prone to hot, dry summers. Our climate modelling tells us that Calgary will continue to experience more severe and frequent weather events such as drought in the future.  

Moving forward, The City will continue to monitor drought conditions (watershed, operational and regional conditions) and to reduce its operational water use to further manage our available water supply. We will continue to work with our Regional partners, Alberta Environment and Protected Areas, TransAlta and the Downstream Irrigation Districts to manage water supply and demand along the Bow River. 

To stay informed on current drought conditions, visit