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City of Calgary - Water Efficiency Goal

Learn more about the City of Calgary's Water Efficiency Goal and what plans and programs help us to reduce water demand in measurable ways.

You can also find more information about how water is used in Calgary and see historical data for past water usage trends.

Calgary's Water Efficiency Goal: 30-in-30

The City of Calgary's 30-in-30 water efficiency goal is to accommodate Calgary's future population growth with the same amount of water removed from the river as in 2003.

To do this, we need to reduce our water consumption by 30 per cent over 30 years. At the end of 2018, we were on track to reach that goal.

City of Calgary Water Efficiency Plan

Our Water Efficiency Plan outlines how we can all contribute towards achieving sustainable levels of water use. We can all be proud of the progress we've made. Learn more by viewing ourWater Efficiency Plan.


Water use data for Calgary

In Calgary, residential customers make up the vast majority of water users and account for 58 per cent of water demand.

Businesses, while only making up about five per cent of total water customers, use 32 per cent of the water.

The remaining ten per cent is distributed to regional customers or used by The City of Calgary in its operations.

Water demand in Calgary by customer type


In 2018, the average household in Calgary used an average of 210 litres per capita of water per day (LPCD).

This is the lowest on record for this customer group, and meets the corporate 2020 sustainability target for single-family residential water use of 210 LPCD.

In 2018, annual withdrawal from the Bow and Elbow rivers was 187,250 million litres (ML), remaining below the 2003 benchmark of 212,500 ML.

Despite a population increase of 25,000 people in Calgary and region in 2018, and another relatively warm and dry summer, water withdrawn from the Bow and Elbow rivers decreased slightly from 2017.

Total annual river withdrawal from the Bow and Elbow Rivers relative to Calgary's population

The figure above shows that in 2018, 187,250 million litres (ML) were withdrawn from the Bow and Elbow Rivers which is below the 2003 benchmark.


In 2018, Calgary's overall water use (including residential, Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers) was 362 LPCD, well on track to meet the 2033 target of 350 LPCD.

Continued efforts by The City and citizens ensures we continue to make progress and reach long-term water efficiency.

Calgary's water use per capita per day - 2003 to 2018

The figure above shows that Calgary's water daily water use per capita has been decreasing since 2003. The 2033 target is 350 litres per capita per day.


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Water conservation programs and actions

See how our water conservation programs and our shared actions are reducing water demand in measurable ways.

City of Calgary actions

We find and repair leaks in the water system through the leak detection and water main replacement program. See theWater Main Replacement Program.

We improve water efficiency at City-owned facilities by using high-efficiency fixtures. Twenty-six fire halls across Calgary have already realized a 32-per cent reduction in water consumption.

We provide information and offer programs to help Calgarians become more aware of their water use. To learn more, see Water Conservation​.

We promote the installation of water meters​ to help customers track and adjust water use. Studies show people on water meters use less water and save money.

We implement new systems across the organization to reuse potable water whenever possible. The Calgary Fire Department's water reuse project (the first of its kind) reduced consumption of potable water for training exercises, which use up to 150 million litres of water per year.

Citizen programs and actions

Track water use with your water meter

You can use your water meter to detect leaks and monitor your water bill to identify water use that could point to a leak. To learn more, visit How to Read a Water Meter​.

Indoor actions

Find and repair toilets and faucent leaks.

Install low-flow, high efficiency fixtures and appliances.

Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with a full load.

Dispose of facial tissue and dental floss​ instead of flushing down the toilet. if you are not sure where an item goes, check What Goes Where​.

Outdoor actions

Replace your lawn by planting native, water-efficient plants that thrive in our dry, arid climate. See YardSmart Outdoor Water Conservation.

When watering your yard, use the right tool for the job and keep spinklers low and slow. Learn more at Watering 101 - New Landscaping or Mature Landscaping.

Watch the weather and only water when necessasry. Find other household watering tips at Homeowner Water Guide.

Business programs and actions

Indoor actions

Check and repair all toilets, fixtures and other water systems that could leak. See Water Conservation for Businesses​.

Conduct a water audit to see where and how your business uses water.

Install water efficient fixtures and equipment.

Outdoor actions

Replace your lawn by planting native, water-efficient plants that thrive in our dry, arid climate. See YardSmart Outdoor Water Conservation.

When watering on your property, use the right tool for the job and keep spinklers low and slow. Learn more at Watering 101 - New Landscaping or Mature Landscaping.

Maintain your automatic irrigation system to avoid overwatering and water waste. See Irrigation Setup and Maintenance Tips​.

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