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Water Management projects and initiatives

ACE Unit

The City maintains over 2,300 irrigation systems and operates irrigation in more than 1,020 parks using central control, but we’re always working on developing innovative new projects and initiatives.

Current projects and initiatives

Right now, we have plans to:

  • Convert 20 additional parks to central control.
  • Accept approximately 20 new centrally controlled sites from developers.
  • Implement a drip irrigation system for 2009 Birthplace Forest.
  • Continue the mobile tree irrigation system pilot with Urban Forestry.
  • Collaborate with the Fire Training Academy water recycled water project.
  • Test and implement new Motorola Piccolo XR devices as well as a new communication system from Motorola using cellular IP modems.
  • Upgrade antennas on all major parks.
  • Test the new Motorola IRRnet - ACE modular field unit which can support eight I/O modules. Includes support for weather stations and multiple communication options.
  • Begin moving towards irrigation by quantity instead of time.
  • Evaluation of IMS (SMART), an improved interface for the irrigation software.
  • Test the use of Motorola RTU's (Remote Terminal Unit) to Control Pump PLC's (Pump Logic Control).

Past initiatives

The City has lead many initiatives in the past, including contributing displays and staff members to major events like the Home and Garden Show, Parks Day, Environment Expo and Earth Day. In our long history, we’ve reviewed over 340 irrigation plans and have trained hundreds of staff members on water management. We’ve also collaborated all levels of government on the Infrastructure Canada Alberta Program to improve irrigation practices by converting electric timers to computerized one.

Our strategic plan

We’re committed to providing a sustainable model for water management that promotes water and soil conservation and guides future decision-making directions for water usage in parks, while continuing to meet the horticultural needs of plants growing in parks, open spaces, recreational sites and landscaped areas. Our strategic plan aims to do the following:

  • Use less water per hectare.
  • Protect the horticultural assets.
  • Increase the lifecycle of irrigation systems.
  • Reduce operating costs.
  • Implement an effective drought management plan to address water restrictions.
  • Become compliant with ISO requirements related to water management.
  • Build partnerships to increase knowledge and learning around best management practices.
  • Educate staff.
  • Gain public support for water conservation in parks.