Calgary is big city on two small rivers, the Bow and the Elbow. We depend on our rivers to provide a stable supply of water for more than 1.25 million people living in the region and the businesses that work here – numbers that continue to climb.

In 2005, the City developed and approved the 30-in-30 Water Efficiency Plan, demonstrating our commitment to sustainable water management.

Our goal is to hold withdrawals from the river steady at the 2003 baseline level of 212.5 billion litres, despite a growing population. To do this, the City committed to reducing its water consumption by 30% over 30 years.


Our rivers are under increasing pressure from a growing population, development and extreme weather ranging from intense rainfall to hotter, drier summers and, shorter, more extreme winters.

Calgary's water use

Calgarians have been working hard to protect our rivers by using and wasting less water and we’ve made great progress, but there is work ahead.

In 2019, our total per capita water use (including residential and business customers) was 356 litres per capita of water per day (LPCD), well on track to achieving our target of 350 LPCD.

water use progress

This figure shows water used by residents, businesses and institutions as well as water lost through leaks, unaccounted for or not billed. This total is then divided by the number of people living in Calgary.

Benefits of water efficiency

Being water efficient today helps us ensure future generations have the water they need. There are also many benefits water efficiency brings to citizens today.

  • Keeps our rivers healthy
  • Save money on treating and delivering water
  • Builds a culture of sustainability and strong communities
  • Saves energy
  • Increases our resliliency to climate change
  • Ensures our downstream neighbours have enough
benefits water

This image shows the benefits of water efficiency including impacts to society, the environment and the economy.

2016 Water Efficiency Plan update

The 2016 Water Efficiency Plan Update​ reaffirms the City’s commitment to protecting our water supply.

It also identifies actions all water users can take to ensure we’re always choosing solutions that use and waste less water.

Citizen actions

Check out the Homeowner Water Guide series to help you find and repair toilet and faucet leaks, learn how to read your water bill, and learn how to use water efficiently and effectively on your outdoor landscape. You can also find more water-saving tips at Saving Water in Your Home.

Business actions

For tips and suggestions about how to save water at your business, helping your bottom line and the protecting resources: