Water Conservation

Water Conservation Rebates

Find out how rebates available for water conservation work and how to apply for them.

Water Rates

Find water rates and learn about how Cochrane’s three-tier water rate works.

Household Water Use

What does the average household use and how you can reduce your water use indoors.

Water Utility Bylaw

Learn about our Water Utility Bylaw that supports Cochrane's water resilience.

Our water is worth saving

Since 2007, Cochrane has reduced our daily water use by 36%. Yet, our continued water resiliency depends on our continued efforts to conserve and carefully use water.

As Alberta prepares for drought, Cochrane is well positioned to continue our conservation efforts, reduce our collective use and collaborate  with shared users of the Bow River Basin and beyond to share the impacts of water shortage.

Current water restriction

Level one water restrictions are in effect year-round to avoid watering in the warmest parts of the day. You may water outside before 10 a.m., or after 7 p.m.
Level one watering restrictions in effect.

What we've done:

Cochrane has implemented several key initiatives that demonstrate its dedication to water conservation: 

  • Updated Water Utility Bylaw: Council recently approved changes to the Water Utility Bylaw, enhancing water sustainability. These amendments provide greater clarity on water restriction levels, offer operational flexibility during emergencies, and expand irrigation timeframes.
  • Investing in Sustainability: Increased funding has supported the Water Loss Mitigation program, water conservation initiatives, community rebates and additional staff. 
  • Measurable Success:
    • Cochrane utilized only 65% of its allocated water license in 2023, showcasing our residents' commitment to conservation.
    • Daily water use per capita has decreased by 36% since 2007, transitioning from 400 to 255 litres.
    • The Water Loss Mitigation program, launched in 2023, recovered 71 million litres of water – equivalent to the annual use of 376 Cochrane households.
  • Long-Term Vision: Cochrane has had metered water systems for five decades and Tiered Water Rates since 2007.
    • The Town has recently acquired a new water licence and continues to pursue additional licence to support growth while ensuring future water availability.

What we're doing: 

Cochrane remains steadfast in its commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration with neighbouring municipalities. Administration is actively seeking new ways to enhance water conservation, ensuring we achieve the water use reduction targets of 5-10%,  if severe drought conditions develop, in alignment with the recent Government of Alberta Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

How you can help: 

Frisbee on lawn
Be water wise
Level one water restrictions are in place year round? You may water outside before 10 a.m., or after 7 p.m. Remember that established lawns only need one inch of water per week, which is enough to fill a Frisbee.
Gardener with handful of mulch laying it down between two bushes
Claim your rebate
Explore water conservation rebates for indoor and outdoor improvements that save you money now and on your future monthly utility bills.
Prepare your yard
It's more than just a lawn. With drought tolerant plants, lawn alternatives and enhanced soil conditions, you can create an attractive landscape that saves time, money and water.
man fixing toilet
Check for leaks
Follow our leak detection checklist to reduce your water use

Water restrictions

The Water Utility Bylaw outlines rules and regulations related to hydrants, utility accounts, rates and billing, water conservation (including time-of-day watering restrictions), plumbing fixtures and water quality and bulk water.

Cochrane has three water restriction levels with specific rules for allowable water use. These restrictions are directly tied to the current status of Cochrane's water reservoirs. By adhering to these levels, we can manage our water resources more effectively and sustainably. 

In the event of declining and unrecoverable treated water storage volumes (such as a mechanical breakdown at the Water Treatment Plant or drought), Cochrane may increase water restrictions to level two or three. These restrictions make sure that water storage levels are protected until the problem is resolved. The priority is maintaining water supply for indoor use, maintaining fire protection storage in the water distribution system and replenishing reservoir storage volumes.  

Read the Water Utility Bylaw