July 20th, 2024

Water not an unlimited commodity in Southern Alberta

By Lethbridge Herald on December 23, 2023.


For urban dwellers, water is like electricity, you turn on the tap and it’s there. Most people who are not on well water give very little thought to how the water gets there. 

With our current drought and winter with little or no snow, we are going to have to start thinking about it. 

The Oldman Watershed Council recently posted water levels for three reservoirs in our area: Waterton at 31 per cent capacity, Oldman River at 26 per cent capacity, and St. Mary reservoir at two per cent.

SMRID reduced water allocations several times through the summer but is basically out of water. 

Without significant snowpack or rainfall, we are going to be in difficulty by spring for all users of these water sources downstream, not just for irrigation. 

Some water conservation ideas to consider are dual-flush or low-flow toilets and shower heads, appliances that are more efficient in their water usage, rain barrels for watering plants, and xeriscaping yards. 

I removed most of my unwanted and unwatered lawn last summer, and replaced it with a dry creekbed style xeriscape that will use very little water and looks much better than my dried-out lawn. 

Being aware of the problem is the first step, and now is the time to start being proactive and preparing for what will be coming. 

Drought is a natural part of southern Alberta, and we need to stop behaving like water is an unlimited commodity: it is not.

Patricia Williams


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Fedup Conservative

You have certainly nailed it. This is really scary. If we thought the fire problem was bad last year watch out this year.


it is getting serious when one cannot jet ski, water ski, and power boat their way to heaven