Stage Four Restrictions FAQ

The City has introduced Stage Four Water Restrictions effective [date, time]. We anticipate that these restrictions will last for [time period].

Below you will find frequently asked questions about these restrictions.

What restrictions are in place?

The following activities are not allowed:

  • Watering of lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs by any method
  • Washing down outdoor surfaces like buildings, sidewalks, and driveways
  • Filling outdoor features such as fountains, pools or hot tubs
  • Using water for construction such as grading or compaction

Who is affected by the current restrictions?

These outdoor water restrictions apply to all customers that use treated potable water from The City of Calgary, which includes Calgary residences, businesses, City operations, as well as the City of Airdrie, Chestermere and the town of Strathmore.

Are there any activities exempt from restrictions?

  • Childcare facilities
  • Kennels or animal care facilities
  • Food and beverage establishments
  • Window washing enterprises
  • Farm operations

How long will the restrictions be active?

We are asking citizens to limit their outdoor water use effective [date]. We anticipate these restrictions to last for [time period].

Information will be available on these pages, as well as local television stations and newspapers. You can also contact 311. When the water shortage has passed, announcements will be made and will explain how to adjust your water use.

Do I have to restrict my indoor water use?

No, Stage Four restrictions only apply to outdoor water use; however, we are asking Calgarians to reduce their indoor use to help ease the water demand. You can help by:

  • Delaying a load of laundry and only run full loads
  • Only using a dishwasher if necessary and only if full
  • Turning off taps when brushing teeth or shaving
  • Limit toilet flushing
  • Limiting showers to five minutes and keeping baths shallow

Why are the restrictions in place?

The City is currently having trouble meeting water demands. A planned shutdown of a large water distribution pipe coupled with unseasonably high water demands has drastically reduced water storage in our distribution system.

To assist us in recovering our storage and make sure we can meet demand for drinking water and firefighting, we are asking citizens to immediately reduce water use. The current outdoor restrictions are mandatory and based on the Water Utility Bylaw.

Is our drinking water safe?

Yes. The treated water from your tap is safe to drink. we are experiencing difficulties producing and distributing the volume of water necessary to meet all of Calgary's needs; it is not an issue of water quality.

Will I notice a change in water pressure?

Although the restrictions should minimize the impact of water pressure issues, some customers may experience lower water pressure at certain times of the day during peak water demand.

What is The City doing to use less water?

During times of water shortages, we adhere to all outdoor water restrictions and stop operating all irrigation systems using treated water in parks, street cleaning, bridge washing and vehicle washing except for waste and recycling trucks for health and safety reasons.

You may notice City crews flushing out pipes. This is because the pipes must be flushed out to remove any sediment and contaminants in the pipes after a water main repair. This is to meet water quality requirements. The water coming from the hydrants is carefully monitored and controlled to make sure only the minimal amount is used.

City of Calgary Parks' staff follow the restrictions, and only use handheld containers to water trees. Otherwise, treated water is not being used for outdoor watering in the parks. When Parks staff do water young trees or the flowers in Olympic Park, they are using river water or stormwater to ensure the plants survive.