Where Does Our Drinking Water Come From?

The water that comes out of your tap has travelled hundreds of kilometers to reach your home.

Video courtesy of Red Deer River Watershed Alliance

The Red Deer River, which is where we draw our drinking water from, originates in the Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park. The river flows across southern Alberta for 724 km, touching 18 municipal districts/counties and 55 urban centres, as well as parks, forests, oil and coal deposits, reserves and croplands. This entire area of land is called the Red Deer River Watershed. Once the Red Deer River crosses into Saskatchewan, it joins up with the South Saskatchewan River, which drains into Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, and then the Hudson Bay.

As users of the Red Deer River Watershed, it is especially important that we consider the impacts that our activities have on those who also depend on the watershed. The harder we work towards conserving water and minimizing the pollution of the Red Deer River, the more we are helping to preserve aquatic habitats and ecosystems, and securing the long-term water supply for the entire watershed and its users.

To learn more about what you can do to help conserve water and prevent stormwater pollution, visit the water conservation and stormwater pages. Our Spring Run-off page discusses why the water pulled from the Red Deer River is smelly in the spring.

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