Conserve Water & Manage Your Bill

Water conservation is key to ensuring the future of our most valuable resource.

Why do we need to conserve water?

Water treatment and distribution rely heavily on an extensive and costly infrastructure system to serve not only City of Red Deer residents, but also over 1,700 businesses and over 25,000 customers from surrounding communities including Red Deer, Lacombe, Blackfalds and Ponoka. Treating and pumping water requires about 17 million kilowatt hours per year – enough energy to power approximately 375,000 households in a year! In conserving water, we are helping to reduce future infrastructure and energy costs associated with water treatment and distribution. Reducing our energy use also helps to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

As our population increases so does our community’s overall demand for safe drinking water. Climate change impacts, including future droughts and water shortages, will have an even greater impact on our water supply. Conserving water today prepares us for the future.

Conserving water can help keep your utility bill low. Over-consumption of water, leaky faucets and toilets, or damaged water meters can all have an impact on your water bill.

Water Conservation Guidelines

Did you know that The City of Red Deer has Water Conservation Guidelines from May to October? Learn more.

How much water do we use?

In 2018, Red Deerians used an average of 193 litres per person per day. According to the American Water Works Association, one quarter of water used in your home is from toilet flushing. Come summer, water use can increase dramatically, due to lawn and garden watering, power washing, and other outdoor water use activities.

Indoor water use (courtesy of Water Research Foundation):

  • Toilets – 24%
  • Showers – 20%
  • Clothes washer – 17%
  • Dishwasher – 1%
  • Faucet – 19%
  • Bath - 3%
  • Leaks – 12%
  • Other – 4%

What can we do?

Conserving water doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out the tips below for simple actions you can take to conserve water in and around your home. Plus, you can see savings on your utility bill.

Check for leaks
  • Check and repair leaky faucets and running toilets. The majority of a leaks in a residential home can be traced back to leaking toilets.
  • Check for hidden leaks. Your water meter reading should not change from when you go to bed and when you get up (before using water). Check your water meter to see if the leak indicator (black arrow dial) is spinning. If the indicator is spinning, there is a leak somewhere in your home. If the indicator is not moving, nothing is leaking at this time.
  • Keep a jug of chilled water in the refrigerator rather than running water until it is cold.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than running water in the sink. Reuse the wash water for watering plants.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machines only when they are full.
  • If hand washing, fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water rather than letting the water run from the tap while washing dishes.
  • Replace high-flow toilets with low-flow ones. See the for more information.
  • Use high-efficiency showerheads and faucets.
  • Do not leave water running while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Install a hot water recirculating system that gives you hot water immediately, rather than having to leave the tap running to warm up the water.
  • Going on a vacation? Shut off your main water valve. This will also prevent water damage in your home while you are away. 
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn. Clippings are 85 per cent water, reducing the need for watering.
  • Mow your grass only when needed. Taller grass shades the soil, retaining moisture.
  • Water your lawn infrequently and in the morning to prevent evaporation. If your lawn turns brown in dry and hot temperatures, this is normal. Lawns in a dormant state will become green when wetter, cooler weather returns.
  • Use a rain barrel to capture rainwater and re-use it for lawn or plant irrigation. See the Rain Barrel Rebate Program for more information.
  • Naturescape your yard. Participate in the Plant and Mulch Rebate Programs.
  • Adjust sprinklers to ensure that only your lawn is watered – not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Check any outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks and repairs as needed.

Participate in our rebate programs

The City offers the following water conservation programs to help residents save water and money:

What is The City doing?

The City is constantly striving to find ways to reduce water consumption at our facilities. The Recreation Centre and downtown RCMP buildings are certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver, while many of our other facilities include:

  • Waterless urinals
  • Low-flow toilets and taps
  • Water-efficient landscaping
  • Rainwater harvesting and re-use
  • Monthly leak detections
  • Hot water pipe insulation
  • Water conservation signage in bathrooms and lunchrooms

The City of Red Deer Environmental Master Plan outlines a target to reduce per capita potable water 15 per cent in 2020, and 25 per cent by 2035 (based on baseline levels in 2009).

Water Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity Plan 2016-2035 (pdf)

Water Conservation PlanAs our community develops and grows, so does the need to safeguard the resources that are crucial to our growth and the environment that surrounds us. The Water Conservation, Efficiency and Productivity Plan 2016-2035 (pdf) builds on the Environmental Master Plan’s water use targets and provides greater detail about the initiatives that The City will implement to further cut water usage.