Irrigation and water management
The City strives to improve the practices and technology used to apply and manage water resources while meeting the horticultural needs of the plants growing on Calgary’s parks, open spaces, recreational sites and landscaped areas through watering and irrigation services.
The Water Management Team is dedicated to promoting water and soil conservation through the proper management of water. This includes the application, conservation, drainage, and recovery of water for economic and environmental enhancement. Some parks use non-potable water for irrigation.
Fast facts on Calgary’s water resources
- Every irrigated park in Calgary has a water meter, making it easy to determine how much water is being used.
- Calgary receives an average of 203.3 mm (8 inches) of precipitation during the growing season.
- Over 2300 of the 3000 parks in The City‘s inventory currently some form of irrigation.
- As of June 1 2009, the irrigation of 1,020 park sites in Calgary is centrally controlled by the City.
- There are rain and freeze switches at each major park that control and stop irrigation and watering during periods of wet or cold weather. Two weather stations are used that allow the Central Control System to determine the right amount of water to be applied depending on weather conditions.
- Since 2000, the amount of water used has decreased by almost a million cubic meters, despite increased drought and an increase in the amount of new parks.
- Calgary is the largest municipal irrigation system in North America (Ref. Motorola Inc.)
- The Calgary area is designated Plant Hardiness zone 3B by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).The annual range of temperature is -15 to +23 degrees Celsius. This zone is also shared with Tomahawk, Wisconsin and Sidney, Montana.