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Peak Demand for Water

  Status: Monitoring

Peak demand is the highest volume of water needed during the year and is based on the average daily flow of the four consecutive days of highest demand each year. It is important for long-term planning to ensure there is enough capacity in the system to provide the community with the water it needs when it needs it.

Peak demand typically occurs during prolonged hot dry periods in summer, and usually results from a combination of increased water use for irrigation, cooling in commercial systems, and tourism/hospitality. In Saskatoon, peak demand can be twice as high as average daily demand. The water treatment system is built to provide water at peak demand, meaning that much of the time it runs at much less than maximum capacity. Increased peak demand can result in costly infrastructure upgrades to add capacity to the system.

Where are we now?

Peak demand fluctuates from year to year largely in response to local weather conditions; however, it is generally trending downward even with population and economic growth.

Data Table
Peak Demand (4-day average)
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Peak Demand (millions of litres) 233 229 211 218 169 181 183 198 190 219 212 225 225 197 205 223

Source: City of Saskatoon – Saskatoon Water

What Are We Doing?

Water and Wastewater Utility Rates

The City of Saskatoon has residential water rates that increase with more use (called an inclining-block) to incentivize water conservation, which may help reduce peak demand. For residents this means that higher water use results in paying higher rates. For commercial customers, a flat rate is applied based on water use, without a bulk water use discount.

Be Water Wise

The City’s water conservation education program helps educate residents on how to reduce outdoor water use in the summer, which can increase by as much as 50% during periods of hot and dry conditions.

Water Conservation Strategy

The City of Saskatoon is in the process of developing a strategy to reduce water use in all sectors, including the residential and the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. Conservation in City-owned facilities and operations includes:

  • Conserve water in City facilities
  • Find and fix leaks in the underground distribution system
  • Keep parks healthy using less water and naturalizing more areas (e.g., advance irrigation control systems)
  • Develop incentive programs to help the community save water
  • Help the community to better understand their water use through education programs and providing clear information

What Can You Do?

Use the most effective outdoor watering and gardening methods to grow a healthy yard.

Check your home for leaks. Some of the most common source of leaks are toilets, faucets, irrigation systems, and pools.

Did You Know?

In 1906, the year Saskatoon became a city, a combined power plant and water treatment plant was built at the site of the present Water Treatment Plant. Steam-driven pumps were used to raise the water from the river and to pump the water to the water mains.