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City of Saskatoon Water Use

     Status: Needs Improving

The City of Saskatoon local government (City) is a major water user, using water in its offices, parks, pools, leisure centres, other buildings and facilities, and for street cleaning, vehicle washing, fire fighting, and other uses. Outdoor water use in the summer accounts for two-thirds of the City's annual water use.

Where are we now?

City of Saskatoon water use fluctuates from year to year based on demand. The increase observed in 2021 is because of increased irrigation and other outdoor water requirements in response to the hot, dry summer weather.


Source: City of Saskatoon – Corporate Revenue

The Water & Wastewater sector generates emissions from the use of energy - natural gas, propane, and electricity - to heat/cool and power buildings associated with the City's water and wastewater treatment and distribution systems. Emissions in this sector increased by 8% from 2014 to 2019, reflecting the expansion of water and wastewater related operations to accommodate a growing city.

Data Table
City of Saskatoon (Local Government) Water Use
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Water Use (millions of cubic feet) 43.04 62.37 39.10 57.66 55.48 64.99 66.11 55.96 53.84 54.14

Source: Total Billed Consumption, City of Saskatoon – Corporate Revenue  

What Are We Doing?

Improving Watering in Parks
The City's Parks Department set a target to reduce water use by 15% through efficiencies by using weather data, AMI data, and irrigation software to control irrigation systems and replace only the amount of water lost from evapotranspiration. Using this approach, healthy turf can be maintained while minimizing water use. Other opportunities to prevent over-watering are also being explored.

Raw Water Use at Civic Golf Courses
Two of Saskatoon’s three municipal golf courses (Holiday Park and Silverwood) use raw, untreated water for irrigation, conserving potable water and the energy required for water treatment.

High Performance Civic Building Policy
The Policy addresses water conservation in new civic facilities by providing guidance on best practices for indoor and outdoor water use efficiency.

Vehicle Washing
Rain water is being used for bus washing, toilet flushing, and irrigation at the Access Transit Garage. And water for bus washing is being recycled and reused at Civic Operations Centre/Saskatoon Transit.

Naturalized Parks
Naturalized parks don’t require irrigation systems or watering of established trees or grass.

Civic Water Loss Audit and Mitigation
The City of Saskatoon has launched a project to better understand its water use, identify unmetered or unbilled uses, and more accurately quantify system leakage. This will support efforts to reduce unmetered use and leaks, increase revenue from water sales, reduce energy use, increase system efficiency, and reduce GHG emissions.

Did you know?

Watering parks makes up 47% of the City's water use, and spray parks, paddling pools, and Wildwood Golf Course make up another 22%. That means that over two-thirds of the City's water use is during the summer during peak water demand.