Council approves changes to Water Utility Bylaw to enhance water sustainability in Cochrane


(Cochrane, AB) – At the March 25 meeting, Council gave second and third reading to amendments to the water utility bylaw. These changes aim to increase operational flexibility, drawing on insights gained from the October 2023 Water/Wastewater event.

While these amendments are not significant, they are integral to Cochrane's ongoing water sustainability plan.

“We're consistently preparing for various scenarios, and these amendments are part of our approach,” said Shane Hubl, Cochrane’s Director of Operations. “We're ensuring that our internal procedures are crystal clear to increase our water sustainability. Council’s support has been critical to getting Cochrane to our current state in water resiliency, investing in our infrastructure and planning for the future.”

The amendments address several key areas:

  • Replacing 'Outdoor Water Use Restriction' with 'Water Use Restriction' to encompass scenarios where water emergencies may impact both indoor and outdoor water availability.
  • Providing clarity on the three water restriction levels and their respective purposes.
  • Introducing discretionary language ('may' instead of 'will or shall') to allow for operational flexibility during emergencies.
  • Expanding the irrigation timeframe from 7 p.m. - 10 a.m., offering a broader window compared to the current narrower slots.

Elaborating on the decision to extend watering hours, Hubl sheds light on the data-driven approach. "Extending watering into the overnight hours may sound unconventional, but our analysis reveals that the current narrow window strains our reservoirs, especially just before the morning rush. This adjustment aims to spread out irrigation demand more evenly, maintaining stable reservoir levels."

In addition to operational enhancements, the amendments prioritize clearer community communication and adaptability during emergencies. Cochrane's proactive measures toward water conservation align with its commitment to a sustainable future, ensuring resilience in drought management.

For further information on water conservation in Cochrane, please visit: