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Voluntary outdoor water restrictions in effect

May 3, 2024 10:49 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

As part of The City’s drought preparations, Stage 1 Voluntary Outdoor Water Restrictions are now in effect.  

Under the voluntary restrictions, Red Deerians are asked to consider:

  • Limiting lawn watering to every other day, between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m. for one hour maximum, when using sprinklers or irrigation. Hoses with spray nozzles and hand watering have no limitations as they use less water and are more controlled.
  • Washing vehicles at automatic car washes instead of at home. Automatic car washes treat their water, which prevents soap and residue from entering the storm system, and they recycle their water.
  • Only filling ponds, water fountains and features twice per week on designated days.

A full list of Outdoor Water Restrictions is available here.

“The precipitation we’ve had this week and that is forecasted for next week is great news for drought,” said Alex Monkman, Water Superintendent. “But we still need to be proactive and looking ahead to the warmer, drier months. The voluntary restrictions are a great way to encourage Red Deerians to start thinking about how they can conserve water as part of our overall approach to drought readiness.” 

Alberta is experiencing drought in many parts of the province due to a below average snowpack in winter 2022-23, which meant less runoff filling rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and below average precipitation in most areas during the spring and summer of 2023. This is contributing to water shortage in some parts of the province, especially in southern Alberta. The province is currently in water shortage management stage 4 (out of 5), where multiple water management areas are impacted by water shortage.  

The City has been closely monitoring conditions and preparing for drought conditions for several months. Key actions to date include:

  • Updated and simplified our Outdoor Water Restrictions.
  • Reviewed internal operations to determine where water use could be reduced without affecting operations.
  • Developed a Drought Management Plan to proactively respond to drought conditions and the need for water restrictions in our community.
  • Along with 38 major water users in the South Saskatchewan River Basin, The City of Red Deer signed a water sharing agreement with the Government of Alberta. Under these agreements, major users have voluntarily agreed to reduce water use if severe drought conditions develop this summer. 

For more information about The City’s response to drought, please visit or see our Drought FAQ (pdf).

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