CHESTERMERE - With the Bow River’s water levels still extremely low, the Western Irrigation District (WID) informed Chestermere residents that had lowered the level in Chestermere Lake by nearly a foot to meet the watering needs of its drought parched stakeholders and maintain its minimum diversion volume rate from the Government of Alberta.
According to a statement released Aug. 18 by the City of Chestermere on social media, the drawdown actually began on Aug. 11.
“Approximately 12 inches of water has been drawn from the reservoir,” the statement from the City read. “However, due to an early harvest season, the demand for water has decreased, positively impacting our water supply outlook.”
According to the City, the lower water levels were expected to remain in effect up until at least Aug. 25, but it also acknowledged that, “the WID's plan is to refill the reservoir as soon as water availability and precipitation allow,” meaning the drawdown could be more prolonged.
The City goes on to tell residents the “WID is continuously monitoring the situation on a daily basis and making necessary adjustments to avoid a significant drawdown. Their focus remains on preserving as much water in the reservoir as possible.”
However, Chestermere also reiterated it was counting on residents to follow recently introduced Stage One watering restrictions, and do as much as they can personally to save water until the reservoir situation becomes clearer.
“We urge residents to remain water-conscious and continue taking the necessary steps to prioritize the conservation of our water resources,” the City states.
The Rocky View Weekly did try to reach out to the Western Irrigation District for more information about the current drawdown situation in Chestermere Lake, but did not receive any response prior to press time last Friday.
In response to the ongoing water emergency in the Bow River basin, the City of Chestermere introduced watering restrictions on Aug. 15, which included the banning of certain activities such as: washing outdoor surfaces, windows, exterior building surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or walkways, washing cars on driveways or streets, and filling fountains or decorative features.
The City also introduced alternate watering days with properties ending with an even number address being allowed to water on Wednesdays or Saturdays, while properties with an odd number address being allowed to water Thursdays or Sundays.
The City also encouraged residents to use hand watering with hoses or watering cans for targeted watering rather than the use of general sprinkler systems.