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With the completion of the recent upgrade, Cochrane's plant has one of the strictest approvals in Alberta, and it is one of only a few that combines three state-of-the-art processes under one roof, along with a control system that rivals any modern manufacturing plant in operation.
Cochrane's water is considered hard because of the amount of calcium in it; the calcium occurs naturally at the mountain source. It typically measures as 180 mg/L or 10 to 11 grains per gallon hardness.
Our highest demand day came in 2016 when we used a total of 13.9 million litres of water. Our population was 25,122 at the time, which means on that day we used an average of 552 litres of water per person. In 2017, we averaged 238 litres per person per day in the winter, and 354 litres per person per day in the summer. In 2008, Town Council decided that expanding our current water treatment plant will enable us to use the remaining capacity of our existing license. This option is the most cost effective and involves the least risk.
We have numerous conservation initiatives that have been successful such as the three-tier water rate, the water conservation rebate program and a low-flow fixture requirement. The Water Utility bylaw limits the time of day you can water outside year round. Since the bylaw was originally approved in 2008, Cochranites have reduced their average water consumption approximately 15%.
The Town has also partnered with ExactET on a local weather station that can send information to irrigation systems so that they only use the water your soil really needs. We are also working with Parks to pilot irrigation systems controlled by this weather station.
As an organization, the Town has a policy in place to look for ways to reduce water consumption in the Town operations as well as in the community. We continually research new initiatives to consider for water conservation.