Where does Calgary get its drinking water?
The Elbow River is 120 kilometres long and passes through four sub-climates before it enters the Glenmore Reservoir. It is the source for nearly half of the city's water supply. The Elbow Valley watershed covers an area of 1,210 km.
The Bow River originates on the Bow Glacier north of Lake Louise and is one of the three main tributaries of the South Saskatchewan River. The Bow River watershed covers an area of 7,700 km.
What is the Bow River Watershed?
The Bow River Watershed or basin includes all the land that feeds to the Bow River and its tributaries. Most Bow River waters come from the Rocky Mountains, an area largely protected within parks. East of the mountains, the Bow River flows through foothills and then through rolling prairie. The Bow River also flows through the City of Calgary, home to most of the basin's human residents.
The Bow River Basin Council is a charitable organization supporting the improvement and protection of the waters of the Bow River watershed. The Council's state of the watershed tool provides information related to the watershed's water quality and quantity, its landscape and biological community, and land use activities.