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Water Use

  Status: Improving

Saskatoon benefits from an abundance of safe and high-quality water from the South Saskatchewan River. However, one-third of the City's GHG emissions result from pumping and treating water and wastewater, generating environmental and financial concerns as the city grows. Spikes in water use during summer heat waves and droughts can also straing the water system.

Measuring the per capita water consumption and total volume of water and wastewater treated are indicators to help manage the water system, reduce emissions, and adapt to climate change.

The City's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan includes the following key action within the Environmental Sustainability priority area:

  • Implement innovative and efficient water conservation practices and programs for indoor and outdoor uses.

Relevant actions from the Low Emissions Community Plan include:

Where are we now?

Per capita residential water use is declining. This improvement means that our efforts to reduce water use are working and that we can continue to build on this success to save water, reduce emissions, increase system resilience, and keep water affordable.

Data Table
Water Use
Year Per capita residential water use (litres per capita per day)
2008 290
2009 283
2010 230
2011 243
2012 230
2013 233
2014 215
2015 223
2016 208
2017 206
2018 202
2019 195
2020 202
2021 210

Source: City of Saskatoon – Saskatoon Water

What Are We Doing?

Park Watering Efficiencies

Parks Department is testing irrigation software that considers weather and metering data to match the amount of water supplied to the amount of water lost by plants through evapotranspiration. This means that plants get exactly the amount of water they need to thrive, with very little waste. The pilot has shown promising results in terms of water savings and plant health.

Be Water Wise Education and Rebates

The City helps residents, businesses, and institutions to reduce their water consumption through its Be Water Wise and Healthy Yards education programs. Residents can receive a $20 rebate on a newly purchased rain barrel to help save water and reduce their utility bills.

Smart Meters

The City began operating a new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system in July 2016. The system relies on 'smart' water meters, which provide more accurate and timely water use information to customers to quickly identify leaks, understand water usage patterns, and ultimately find ways to conserve water. Approximately 80% of all water meters in Saskatoon are now equipped with the AMI system.

Energy Assistance Program

The City partnered with SaskPower to provide the Energy Assistance Program, offering income-qualified residents free energy coaching and upgrades like water-efficient showerheads and other fixtures, lightbulbs, thermostats, and more. This program saves participating households approximately $230/year on utility bills.

What Can You Do?

Find out how to use less water on your yard and garden with tips from the Be Water Wise and Healthy Yards campaigns.

Consider upgrading your showerhead, toilets, and taps. New water-efficient models have been engineered to deliver high performance at the same time as saving you money. Check out the City's Home Energy Loan Program, Energy Assistance Program, or the Government of Canada's Greener Homes Grant for financing and other information.

Check your home for leaks. Toilets are the most common cause of wasted water and high water bills.

Did You Know?

Replacing older model toilets with low-flow, low capacity models can reduce the amount 'flushed' away by up to 65%.