Information | Scheduled system upgrade - May long weekend

Due to a scheduled system upgrade, some applications and documents on may not be available from 5 p.m. Friday, May 17 until 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 21. We apologize for any inconvenience.

What is a Water Managed Site?

A Certified Water Managed Site (WMS) is a property with an in-ground irrigation system certified by The City of Calgary for water efficiency.

Certified WMS properties must have an in-ground irrigation system that uses weather data and on-site environmental sensors to control watering schedules.

They must also have checks in place to ensure the safety of the water delivery system and measure use to prove performance efficiency.

Why become a Certified Water Managed Site?

This program supports the fact that not all landscapes are the same. Parks, sport fields, gardens and residential yards are all very different landscapes and require very different watering approaches to ensure they remain healthy. To do so, water availability for each of these must remain equitable in times of water shortage.

A certified WMS indicates that the irrigation system can respond to weather and/or soil moisture conditions at that site and applying the appropriate amount of water to the landscape to keep it healthy while avoiding water wastage.

A certified WMS is granted the opportunity to continue watering, as required by the site conditions, during watering schedules or drought restrictions. A certified WMS must still observe any request to cease using water during an emergency water shortage. 

How can my site become a Water Managed Site?

Steps to become a water managed site:

Step 1: Site equipment verification

Ensure you have the equipment installed and operating on your site that meet the criteria for a certified WMS including:
  • A smart controller with remote operability and real-time weather data capabilities
  • Weather station with a rain sensor or moisture sensor
  • Leak/flow sensor
  • Electronically controlled irrigation master valve
  • A recently inspected and approved Cross Connection Control Device (RP/DCVA)
  • Billing meter (multi-unit, residential, industrial, commercial, institutional sites only) or
  • Volume totalizer (single family and duplex properties only)

Step 2: Book a CLIA (Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor)

Contact a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor. Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditors (CLIA) are certified by the Irrigation Association. A list of local, certified auditors can be found on the Irrigation Association - Certification Directory.

Step 3: Pre-qualification application

Have your CLIA visit your property to conduct an inspection (start-up test) of your system and complete your pre-qualification application form on your behalf. Your CLIA must complete the following two steps to submit your pre-qualification application:

  1. Your CLIA must complete a pre-qualification application on the online portal and submit this form on your behalf.
  2. Your CLIA must complete a fillable form and send it to

You will receive confirmation of the status of your application within 10 working days. Until that time, your site’s irrigation system must continue to operate normally, following all watering schedules being enforced through the Water Utility Bylaw.

The size and type of site will determine which of the two tiers the site belongs to. A Tier 1 site will be greater than 0.5 hectares and/or be a park, playground, sports field or large green space. A Tier 2 site will be described as less than 0.5 hectares and commonly be a single family residential or small ICI space.

Sites which are pre-qualified will be immediately updated on a list pre-qualified sites referenced by The City’s community standards team for bylaw officers to refer to in the event of a complaint about irrigation at the site.

Step 4: Irrigation System Audit/Assessment

If you receive a status update for your site indicating that it is pre-qualified as a Water Managed Site, you can begin operating as a WMS.

Sites which do not pre-qualify will be notified and must follow the recommendations given before re-applying for pre-qualification.

Once a site is pre-qualified, the next step is for your CLIA to conduct and submit a Catch Can Audit or Irrigation System Assessment (ISA) before the end of the irrigation season (Oct. 31).

For sites which are 0.5 hectares or more a Catch Can Audit will be required. For all other sites providing an Irrigation System Assessment is sufficient. Contact for a Catch Can Audit and Irrigation Site Assessment (ISA) templates.

Once the audit or ISA are completed and submitted by your CLIA they will be evaluated along with your site’s performance report at the end of the irrigation season. 

Step 5: Site Performance Report

Each year, at the end of the irrigation season (Oc. 31), a Site Performance Report (SPR) must be submitted by your CLIA. The SPR and Audit/ISA results will be reviewed by The City.

If the SPR produces the required water saving performance for the site that year and the audit/ISA meets the required criteria and recommendations for improvement are made, the site can be granted a certified Water Managed Site status for the following year.  

Step 6: Certification

When the review of all documentation is complete, The City will notify the applicant of the status of their pre-qualified Water Managed Site. If the site is granted certified status, instructions will be provided related to water use criteria that must continue to be met for Tier 1 or Tier 2 sites under ‘normal conditions’ and during outdoor water use restrictions.

WMS certification is granted for one year and is based on annual performance reporting results following each irrigation season.

What are the benefits of a Water Managed Site?

  • Certification as a Water Managed Site

    You are less restricted with watering practices during times of water restrictions.

  • Keep Calgary’s green assets healthy while using water efficiently

  • Ensure water for downstream users

  • A certified WMS uses a minimum of 25 to 40 per cent less water annually

  • Reduce strain on water treatment plants.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How will my property be identified as a Water Managed Site?

All pre-qualified and certified WMS will receive a letter from The City identifying their property as a registered WMS.

Community Standards will be provided with a list of Water Managed Sites for bylaw officers to reference.

Does a Water Managed Site ever have to be re-certified?

All certified Water Managed Sites must have a CLIA submit a performance report on their behalf at the end of the irrigation season. If the site meets the criteria for water savings that year, the site will be re-certified for the following irrigation season. 

How can I save water if I don’t have an in-ground irrigation system?

You can still help conserve water and have a beautiful yard by using these outdoor water conservation tips and tools.

Who do I reach out to if I have other questions about the program or the status of my application to the program?

Send all questions to watermanagedsites@calgary or call 311.