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Calgary Consuming Less Water in Spite of Growth

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Calgary drew less water from the Bow and Elbow Rivers last year than it did nearly a decade ago and remains on pace to use less water in 2030 than it did in 2003, according to a city report.

“We’re certainly proud of it,” water resource planning and policy leader Margaret Beeston said of the 2012 figures, which show the city is on track to meet its long term conservation goals.

A total of 178.5 billion litres were drawn from the two rivers in 2012. That’s down from 2003, even though roughly more than 200,000 more Calgarians are now consuming water.

Upgrades in the city’s water treatment and distribution system have helped drive consumption down, Beeston said, as have the collective conservation efforts of citizens.

“We wouldn’t see the reduction in demand without Calgarians,” she said. “They’re obviously the key to the success that we’ve seen.

The city has now installed water meters for 93 per cent of its residential customers, Beeston said, with only about 20,000 flat-rate customers left.

Metered customers use roughly 60 per cent less water than flat-rate customers.

Ald. Jim Stevenson thinks the city should go a step further and, in addition to single-family homes, install meters on new condominium developments, as well – something he noted doesn’t currently happen.

“To me that is a problem,” he said. “There’s no penalty for people who leave their taps or running or have a leaky tap or that sort of thing.”

Source: Calgary Metro

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