A drought in southern Alberta has caused water restrictions across the towns of Claresholm, Granham Hamlets and Willow Creek MD.
“This is the first time water restrictions have been required. This level is the lowest it’s been in years,” said Abe Tinney, Clersholm Township Chief Operating Officer.
The Pine Cooley Reservoir supplies water to these areas and has supplied water to Willow Creek for about 25 years.
“A big contributor to low water levels is discharge into the creek to keep the creek flowing,” Tinney said.
This area is located in Stage 2 water scarcity planwhich means, depending on your location and water-using activities:
- Watering days are reduced from 3 to 2 days a week.
- Do not water from 10am to 7pm
- No new landscaping sowing or lawn permits will be issued until September 1.
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Tinney explained that simulations of water levels and precipitation patterns over 77 years that were used to develop the plan predicted that this situation would occur every seven to 10 years.
“These projections suggest that if we were to just look at these restrictions in this small window now without looking at how long it would have been since we actually had to enforce them, it might seem that way. But I would say it’s not too alarming,” Tinney said. “There’s still plenty of water there to carry us through next year.”
The current reservoir height is 1,046 meters. Tightening regulations to move to Stage 3 would require lowering water levels to 1,040 meters, where discharge into creeks would cease and water would be reserved for municipal consumption.
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Moving south, Lethbridge’s emergency planning and risk supervisor, Luke Palmer, added that rainfall in the city is less than 40 percent of normal, and drought conditions are seen in a much wider area.
“We’ve had about three or four years of drought right now,” Palmer said. “About 50 percent of the southern region, which stretches from Red Deer to Medicine Hat, is affected, and Lethbridge is affected, but at this point it’s really a whole southern region problem,” said Palmer. said Mr.
The city stands ready to invoke any water restriction plans should such an event occur.
Meanwhile, Tinny feels okay about Claire Sholm’s plan.
“At the moment we are doing our due diligence and we are confident that things will work out.”
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