TABLE OF CONTENTS

WATER

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: Water quality in the North Saskatchewan River sustains healthy people and healthy ecosystems.

THE WAY WE GREEN GOAL: Edmonton's water supply meets its needs. 

THE ALBERTA RIVER WATER QUALITY INDEX

The Alberta River Water Quality Index was developed as a way to summarize physical, chemical and biological data into a simple descriptor of water quality. The index provides a simple snapshot of annual water quality conditions in major rivers of the province, such as the North Saskatchewan River. The index is being evaluated and the Province is in the process of developing a more relevant measure that will better capture seasonality associated with changes in water quality. Index ratings for the North Saskatchewan River for the past three years have been somewhat lower than they have been in recent history. This was due to the fact that in these years, sampling coincided with large precipitation and runoff events, which resulted in exceedances in nutrient and bacteria guidelines. In 2013/14, however, the monitoring site upstream of Edmonton rated excellent with only a few exceedances of nutrient guidelines. Downstream at the monitoring site, July sampling coincided with a rainfall event. This combined with the additional bacteria guideline exceedances and pesticide detections, resulted in a rating of 'Fair' at the site.

VIDEO: STORM WARNING: ASSURING WATER AND CLIMATE SECURITY IN ALBERTA

EDMONTON'S WATERSHED CONTAMINANT REDUCTION INDEX

Edmonton’s Watershed Contaminant Reduction Index (EWCRI) is an annual measure of the contaminants discharged to the North Saskatchewan River from the City of Edmonton, adjusted for population. The index is calculated using the measured amounts of sediments, nutrients, and bacteria discharged to the river, referenced to a baseline. Sources of contaminants from the City of Edmonton include the wastewater treatment plant, combined sewer overflow sites and stormwater outfalls. These parameters are converted to a Contaminant Reduction Index score. An increase in the index is good and means less contaminants are being discharged to the river. An index of 7.45 or higher is considered good, and a score of 10.0 would result from zero contaminant discharge.

The trend with EWCRI has leveled off in recent years but progress is being made towards reducing contaminant loading to the river through implementation of low impact development and other management programs.

IVOR DENT PARK

As a 138 acre site that is home to 24 sports fields, you can imagine the undertaking that maintaining the Ivor Dent Spots Park is on a day to day basis. To take advantage of a natural water supply and to reduce reliance on the City’s potable water supply Ivor Dent Sports Park has created a uniquely sustainable irrigation system, the first stormwater reuse system of its kind within City of Edmonton operations. The closed system features four stormwater management facilities inside the park that collect then reuse rainwater to irrigate the grounds. These facilities manage stormwater, both for water quantity and water quality, to ensure proper and safe surface irrigation. The Ivor Dent Sports Park stormwater reuse system is truly a leader in sustainability as it sets an example for other City of Edmonton facilities that are looking at similar irrigation systems. This type of water conservation also contributes to goals identified in The Way We Green.

LITRES USED PER PERSON PER DAY

Domestic water use in Edmonton, on a per person basis, has historically been lower than the Canadian average due to a well established metering program, public education, rate setting methods, and relatively short summers. Water use per person in Edmonton continues to stay relatively low due to the continued installation of high efficiency toilets and clothes washers.

EPCOR HEXAGON MAPPING PROGRAM 

As one of Alberta’s largest utility providers, EPCOR is a significant source of water use information within Edmonton. The organization has used historical residential water consumption data to create its hexagon mapping initiative. Hexagon mapping provides a visual representation of water usage trends by area. EPCOR averages the water demand of Edmonton customers within a hexagonal area that is approximately two by two city blocks. The data is then mapped and used to compare water usage within Edmonton. The detailed information regarding residential water usage trends allows stakeholders to understand who is using water, where, when and how much. Water usage in Edmonton has historically been lower than the national average due to our relatively short summers and continues to decrease due to the continued installation of high-efficiency fixtures and appliances. The hexagon mapping initiative monitors this trend and supports purposeful water conservation outreach, contributing to goals in The Way We Green.