The City of Saskatoon (City) is developing a long-term Water Conservation Strategy that aims to provide an action plan of water reduction initiatives for indoor and outdoor use in all sectors, including residential; industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors; and the City itself. Recommended initiatives will be based on proven track record in other cities, feasibility of implementing, reducing demand on our water system, cost effectiveness, and what we hear from the public. More information on water use and water conservation in Saskatoon is available in this flyer.
Recommended Programs and Phasing
Previously, survey respondents were asked to rank the proposed water reduction programs within the Strategy. This feedback, along with recommendations from experts, pricing/costs, and water savings potential, was used to create a final list of recommended programs and a timeline for when they will occur. The recommended program options are listed below and separated into four phases. For a more detailed description of the recommended programs please see this list.
Phase 1 - Programs already in planning stage
- City Parks watering: improving grass and plant watering practices
- Smart metering: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology could be used for education programs for residents and businesses to better understand their water use, and thus reduce more water and repair leaks
- City operations and facilities: Make our water use within City operations more efficient by using conservation practices such as rain harvesting. Operations and facilities that could benefit from this include vehicle and equipment washing, and spray pads and paddling pools
Phase 2 - Programs to be started in the next 3 years
- Education programs for communities
- Affordable housing pilot: a program that would conduct audits and provide education to property managers and renters to increase water reduction practices and make water use more efficient. Water conservation should benefit both building owners and those who live in the building
- Distribution-system leak reduction
- Commercial water conservation program: A program for businesses to be audited to identify ways to use their water more efficiently and indoor capacity buyback
- Residential water conservation program: a program for residents to receive rebates for water efficient toilets and other plumbing fixtures as well as education reducing household water use both indoors and outdoors and how that can save money
- Naturalized areas: Increase naturalized areas in parks that require less water
- Water rates and pricing: Review the way the City charges for water and explore pricing and rates that lead to the maximum affordability and conservation
Phase 3 - Programs to be started in the next 4-6 years
- Affordable and multi-unit housing water efficiencies: based on pilot project results
- Commercial water conservation program: Incentives for plumbing equipment and fixture upgrades that increase water conservation and reduction
- Residential water conservation program: Support program to encourage low water landscaping, community gardening, and incentives for, and training to use, irrigation systems that help conserve and reduce water
- Raw water: Using raw water (water that hasn’t been treated) where safe and possible to do so, helps reduce the use of treated water
Phase 4 - Programs to be started in the next 7+ years
- Grey water: The City will research how to incentivize grey water (water that has gone through the household but does not contain sewage) systems for residents and businesses as well as look at potential concerns around these systems.
- Outdoor watering restrictions: Review and possible revise how and when we currently use restrictions
How Can You Give Us Your Input?
Engage Page Forum
Contact the City
Closing the Loop Public Survey - Spring 2021
Both residents and industry stakeholders were invited to provide feedback on the changes made to the Strategy and recommended programs. Further details on the input received through the survey will be provided in the near future.
Online Public and Industry Surveys - Winter 2021
Two surveys were conducted in winter 2020 to receive feedback and prioritize the proposed initiatives in the Water Conservation Strategy. The results from the surveys will help finalize the proposed initiatives and identify any additional opportunities for the program. Further details on the input received through the surveys can be found in the following Phase 2: What We Heard Report.
Stakeholder Interviews - Spring 2020
Interviews with stakeholders were held in spring 2020 to identify the benefits and potential impacts of water conservation initiatives. Stakeholders included representatives from businesses/business groups, environmental organizations, and industry professionals.
Common themes from these interviews, as well as other items discussed during these interviews, helped inform the draft initiatives being presented in the current phase of engagement. Further detail on the input received through the stakeholder interviews is available in the Phase 1: What We Heard Report.