Drought

Together, we can make every drop count

Updated May 23, 2024

Based on significant regional precipitation and cool temperatures so far this spring, Calgary’s water supply conditions have shifted to Normal; however, conditions could change, and we’re monitoring the situation closely.

We continue to remind Calgarians to use water wisely, especially outdoors, and make every drop count.

What we’re seeing

  • Mountain snowpack is average for this time of year and is melting at a normal rate.
  • The Bow basin has received significant precipitation over the last month.
  • Bow watershed reservoir storage upstream of Calgary and the Glenmore Reservoir are normal for this time of year.
  • Bow and Elbow River flows are normal for this time of year.

We will keep Calgarians informed as conditions evolve. Our next update will be in late June.

Current drought conditions

How you can help conserve water at home


In your yard

Prepare your yard for dry conditions and make it as water efficient as possible. 

Water wisely

- Avoid watering if there is rain in the forecast

- Water in the early morning and evening

- Start limiting outdoor watering to 4 hours a week.

Choose water-wise plants

Consider removing lawn where you can, and replacing with drought-tolerant, native plants that are suited for Calgary's climate and soil conditions.

Install a rain barrel

Capture and reuse any rainwater Mother Nature provides this season.

Add mulch to your garden

Mulch will reduce the amount of water that evaporates from your soil, reducing your need to water your plants.

Mow less often

Keep your grass 5-7 cm (2-3") high to shade the soil and leave your clippings on the lawn to retain moisture.

Point your downspout toward your garden

If you don’t have a rain barrel, point your downspout away from your home’s foundation and toward your garden or lawn to make the best use of the rainwater.

Add good quality soil

Add a base of at least 20 cm (8”) of good quality soil for a healthy garden that retains water.

Prioritize watering trees

Prioritize watering your trees and shrubs over grass. Trees provide many benefits to Calgary’s urban environment and maintaining a healthy tree canopy during drought is important.

Check your irrigation system for leaks

Irrigation systems are one of the most common household leaks. Schedule annual maintenance with an irrigation professional and check often for leaks.

Around the house

Every time you use water inside the home there’s an opportunity to conserve water.

Turn off water when brushing teeth, shaving

By turning off the water when brushing your teeth you can save up to 32 litres per person per day!

Run full loads of clothes and dishes

Using your laundry machine/dishwasher when it's half full uses twice the amount water.

Take shorter showers

Each five minutes you reduce can save 100 litres of water.

Fill bathtub halfway or less

Filling the tub only halfway (or less) when bathing children can save 40 litres or more every bath.

Fill a pot to wash vegetables

Place vegetables and fruit in a partially filled sink or pot to rinse them. Use the collected water to water house plants.

Scrape your plate

Scrape your plate into the compost bin. Do not rinse the food off dishes.

Fix leaky taps and toilets

The average home could save up to 10 per cent on water use by fixing water leaks.

Install low flow faucets and showerheads

Look for the WaterSense label when upgrading toilets, faucets and showerheads.

Invest high efficiency appliances

When it’s time, replace your old dishwasher or washing machine with a model that uses less water.

Find other ways to save water in your home

Other quick and inexpensive ways to reduce water use in your home.

At-a-glance guide to save water in your home

At your business

By reducing your water use, not only are you demonstrating leadership and saving water, but it also helps businesses reduce energy and maintenance costs.

Each business is different, and you know your business best. Here are a few resources to help you get started.

Review your water use

Identify areas of your business where water consumption is highest to see if there are potential water saving opportunities.

Identify potential water-saving opportunities

  • Check your plumbing system for leaks.
  • Consider installing water-efficient fixtures and equipment.
  • Remind your staff about using water wisely.
    • Report dripping taps and running toilets to your building manager.
    • Keep post-workout and after-travel showers to five minutes.
    • Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them.
    • Only run the dishwasher when full.

Downloadable PDF poster

Share your conservation efforts with your customers and encourage others to do their part.
 

More information


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