Keeping parks and sports fields healthy through effective water management
Water is our most precious natural resource, and it's up to every Calgarian to help conserve and protect our water supply. The City of Calgary has a lot of wonderful parks and sports fields and keeping them in great shape takes planning and dedication to use water resources responsibly.
has been leading the way in water management for several years, and has been recognized internationally for its irrigation practices.
One of the ways Parks accomplishes its conservation goals is by using a centralized irrigation system that draws data from weather stations around the city to determine when watering is necessary.
“Instead of watering for a fixed time on a fixed calendar, this system calculates how much water the plant needs based on the current weather and applies only what the plants needs,” says Denis. “With this system the amount is adjusted every day and conserves water.”
Recent upgrades to existing spray parks, as well as the construction of new parks have also taken into consideration the need to reuse water. Old parks had a system which required daily filling and draining, which used a substantial amount of treated water. “The new systems have been developed to be filled at the beginning of the season and treated on site like swimming pool. They no longer require daily draining, which results in less water usage,” says Denis.
Parks also uses water saving measures like allowing turf to grow to longer lengths, which provides shade for roots and retains moisture. Watering of sports fields is also done according to patterns of use. “When sports fields are heavily used, they require regular watering to protect turf from wear and tear,” says Denis. “We water less in the summer when the fields are not used as much allowing the turf to enter a dormancy state, which is good to maintain plant health.”
In 2009, the Irrigation Association awarded Calgary Parks its National Water & Energy Conservation Award for ‘transforming the irrigation industry in western Canada and for demonstrating exceptional commitment in using water wisely’. In 2010, Calgary Parks and Water Services shared another Irrigation Association award for exceptional Smart Irrigation Month promotions. Parks has also been recognized for its involvement with initiatives such as the water recovery and reuse system at the Fire Training Academy.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.