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Summer Water Check-In

Residents can expect a reminder prior to change in usage levels

As a result of June’s dampish weather, last year’s drought-like conditions are still at bay and the Village remains at Level 1 water usage.

Public Works Director of Operations Karl Buhr reports that residents will be given at least a week’s warning before conditions require a switch to Level 2. This will allow residents to do final pressure washing, top up outdoor storage, “and more,” he says.

Buhr adds that the results of even a solid rainfall pass through in about 36 hours. “Supply in late summer depends on groundwater exfiltrating into surface creek channels, and snowmelt surface runoff.”

In spite of the multi-year UBC hydrology study in the area, groundwater flows are not yet well understood. Buhr notes that until more is known, we still look to snowpack levels for our summer supply, and this year snowpack is unprecedentedly low. 

As reported in The Watershed, Public Works (PW) has spent the spring identifying a large number of water leaks throughout the municipality. Buhr reports that the team’s investigation has succeeded in dropping water consumption in the Village from highs of 700,000-800,000 gallons per day this time last year, to under 300,000 gallons per day, as measured this past week. He notes there are still at least half dozen known leaks still to be addressed.

Other measures taken include what Buhr calls “a no-cost engineered and regulator-approved process change” that allows PW to use more of Magnesia Creek’s production than was possible before. And just in the past month, taxpayers have funded and the municipality has initiated the Alberta Supply-Augmentation Project (ASAP) on what Buhr calls an “extraordinarily fast schedule”, which will add previously untapped water to the municipal supply. 

Even so, Buhr says that residents can expect stringent enforcement of the Outdoor Water Use bylaw.

He adds that “we should all hope we won’t need Level 3, because that (means) no outdoor use at all.”

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It is good to have Karl on top of issues such as our water supply.

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