Town to launch information campaign on water conservation

By Rob Vogt
Looks can be deceiving.
The recent heavy snowfall has provided some moisture, but this area is still in drought, and the Town of Claresholm’s water restrictions are still in effect.
The town gets its water from the Pine Coulee Reservoir west of Stavely, and Alberta Environment and Protected Areas has already started to fill the reservoir.
“The reality is they need 120 days to fill Pine Coulee,” said Jason Hemmaway, the town’s director of emergency management. “We’re not going to get that.”
Moreover, he continued, the town is a little worse off than 2023, because last year there were two more metres of water to start with than this year.
Consequently, the town is launching an information campaign to conserve water, including material that will be included in the Local Press in a few weeks.
Hemmaway said there are two areas to conserve water – in the house and in the yard.
A lot can be done to conserve water in the yard.
“There are simple things,” Hemmaway said.
For example, if someone is re-doing their yard or creating a new one they are encouraged to plan to use less water.
“Incorporate drought-resistant landscaping,” Hemmaway said.
Using rain barrels to capture water and use that in the yard is another suggestion.
“It’s amazing how much water can come off a roof,” Hemmaway said.
In fact, a 205-litre barrel can be filled in 15 to 30 minutes in a rain storm.
Seeing what 205 litres looks like, Hemmaway added, may also help people manage water.
Once the rain is captured, plants can be hand-watered using a watering can.
“You can use that to water three garden boxes for up to three weeks,” Hemmaway said.
Inside the house, there are simple measures that can be taken as well.
About 30 litres of water go down the drain when the tap is run for five minutes straight, so turning it off while brushing teeth or doing the dishes can help.
Taking a bath uses about 10 percent of the water that a shower does.
Another illustrative example is to put the stopper in the bath tub while having a shower. It will show how quickly the tub fills up.
Hemmaway said a lot of people already know these things, but a lot don’t know them either.
That’s why the town will be putting out information in the Local Press and online on how to conserve water.
Hemmaway noted the town is still in Stage 3 water restrictions, which include being able to water the yard and garden once per week, along with other measures.
“That might not change,” he said. “It just makes us manage our water a little bit smarter.”