Conserve Water & Manage Your Bill

Water conservation is an environmental initiative we can all take to ensure the future of this valuable resource.

Why do we need to conserve water?

Water is not an infinite resource, and our growing population relies heavily on our water supply to support our daily lives. Water treatment and distribution requires an extensive and costly infrastructure system to serve residents and businesses in Red Deer and the communities that surround our city. Treating and pumping water to these customers requires enough energy to power approximately 375,000 households in a year. By conserving water, we reduce the demand and help to reduce the costs associated with water treatment and distribution. It can even help you keep your utility bill low.

Climate change impacts, including droughts and water shortages, have major impacts on our water supply. Conserving water today prepares us for the future.

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. Many leaks in a residential home can be traced back to leaking toilets. Replacing a leaky toilet? Replace your existing model with a low-flow toilet and you might qualify for a Toilet Rebate,
  • 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 instead of 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. Apply for a Toilet Rebate.
  • 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. Apply for a Rain Barrel Rebate.
  • Naturescapeyour 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 rebates to help residents save water and money:

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 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 (CEP) Plan (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 (CEP) Plan (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.