A leading example in water sustainability
Calgary is ranked the number one city in the water category in the latest U.S. and Canada Green City Index conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Compared to 26 North American cities, Calgary lost the least amount of water to leakage (4%) and was well below the average consumption of water per person per day.
Since 2003 The City of Calgary has been implementing its 30-in-30 policy of reducing per capita water consumption by 30% over 30 years in order to keep total demand steady as the population grows. Its water efficiency goal is to accommodate Calgary’s future population growth with the same amount of water it removed from the rivers as in 2003, and so far the city is on track to reach that goal.
As part of the plan, and to maximize its return on investment and best enable the city to reach its conservation objectives, the water conservation program is reducing demand in measurable ways including:
- Maintaining one of North America’s lowest water main break records — The city is seeking out and repairing leaks as well as proactively replacing section of old water mains.
- Making water meters mandatory — Local studies show that the introduction of a meter reduces the average household’s water consumption by around 60% and the city expects to finish this project in 2014.
- Adding incentives for Calgarians to save water and money — In 2010 the city issued toilet replacement rebates that have already resulted in water savings of more than 75 million gallons.
- Implementing new systems to reuse potable water whenever possible.
Calgary is committing itself to reducing impacts on their watershed and maximizing service from their existing infrastructures while accommodating a growing population and ensuring economic growth. The city is well poised to remain a leading example in water sustainability in the future.