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Water efficiency

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 2016, we were on track to reach that goal.

The City's 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. In 2016, Calgarians used an average of 214 litres per capita of water per day in a household. Water withdrawn from the Bow and Elbow Rivers totalled 174 billion litres, remaining below our 2003 benchmark of 213 billion litres.

Annual water withdrawal from the Bow and Elbow Rivers:

River withdraw volume

In 2017, annual water withdrawn from the Bow and Elbow rivers was 188,507 million litres (ML), remaining below the 2003 benchmark of 212,500 ML. This was about 8 per cent higher than in 2016, likely due to uncharacteristically hot and dry summer and fall, despite minimal population growth over the year.

Calgary's total per capita water demand trends over time

Residential sector demand

In 2017, Calgary's overall water use (including residential, and Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers) was 378 litres per capita per day (lpcd), well on track to meet the 2033 target of 350 lpcd, a slight increase from recent years. The increase was due in large part by the extended hot and dry conditions in the summer and fall of 2017.

Continued efforts by The City and Calgarians will ensure we continue to make progress and reach long-term, water efficiency.

Our water conservation programs are reducing water demand in measurable ways

Maintaining one of North America's lowest water main break records by seeking out and repairing leaks and proactively replacing sections of old water mains.

Swapping out old water guzzling fixtures in city facilities with newer, low-water use options. Twenty-six fire halls across town have already realized a 32-per cent reduction in water consumption.

Water meters help customers track and adjust water use. Studies show people on water meters use less water and save money.

Implementing 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.​​