Caution | Outdoor water restrictions in effect

Stage 2 Outdoor Water Restrictions are in effect. Learn more about what you can do during this stage.

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38,000 kg/day stormwater sediment loadings

On track

On track

Calgary is on track to keep stormwater sediment loadings below the 2005 level of 41,300 kg/day. Through the implementation of the 2023 updated Stormwater Management Strategy, The City will continue to work together with communities and Calgarians to improve stormwater quality and protect our rivers. 

Stormwater  is the rain, melting snow, and ice that washes off driveways, parking lots, roads, yards, rooftops, and other surfaces. It carries "sediment", which consists of particulates of soil, rock, gravel, and other substances that are larger than two microns and can impact or pollute our waterways.

Calgary is the largest municipality in the Bow River Basin. The amount of sediment and other pollutants in Calgary’s stormwater has been slowly decreasing since the early 2000s because of The City’s efforts to intercept stormwater before it reaches the Bow River. 

Stormwater is redirected into swales, irrigation systems, rain gardens, and ponds where it can be used or treated to improve its quality. 

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Cleaner stormwater protects the Bow River during drought

Prolonged periods of drought decrease the amount of water in our creeks and river systems. Less water in our rivers also means more pollution in our rivers, as pollutants are concentrated. Given our changing climate and growing city, careful stormwater management is necessary to protect the water quality, fish, and wildlife habitat in our watershed.

Sediment in the Elbow River during the 2005 flood.
Sediment in the Elbow River during the 2005 flood.

Cleaning stormwater with nature

The City of Calgary currently operates and maintains approximately 350 ponds and wetlands, 4500 kilometres of storm sewer mains, and 600,000 storm drains as part of our stormwater infrastructure.

Stormwater from a Calgary neighborhood is captured and used to keep a park green and healthy.

Plans and strategies

Fulfilling the 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan

Focus Area: Communities

Supporting Calgary’s Climate Strategy 

Theme: Water