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February 25, 2024 February 25, 2024

Winter water supply not an issue for town despite dry year

Posted on December 24, 2023 by Taber Times

By Cal Braid
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

High and dry, but we’ll get by. Apart from the abundance of water consumed by the thirsty land during the growing season, cities and towns rely on it year-round in every way. Prolonged dry spells can be unnerving, even for those who dislike the snow and rain, because we need water, or else.

The good news is that the Town is flush. Chris Eagan, Taber’s director of planning, engineering and operations, told the Times that the town’s water supply is stable for the winter. “The Town ensured our two raw water reservoirs were full at the end of irrigation season. We don’t anticipate any shortages this winter as a result.” He said the Town has 500,000 cubic metres of water in those reservoirs, approximately three months supply at typical winter consumption rates.

“The Town is using an auxiliary pumping unit to move water from the existing level into the permanent water intake facility where the regular system takes over,” Eagan explained. “The auxiliary unit is a trailer mounted pump to move water to the permanent pump house at Chin when the reservoir levels are lower than the pump house intake. The auxiliary unit moves water into the pump house when this situation occurs and then the permanent pump house pumps water to the reservoirs adjacent to the water treatment plant.”

He said the St. Mary River Irrigation District has been keeping all system stakeholders informed of the water supply situation. 

“This has allowed us time to plan and implement the auxiliary water pumping approach. They provide updates as they become aware of issues that may affect the town.”

The two full reservoirs that Eagan referred to are adjacent to the water treatment plant. 

“They serve to receive water from the permanent pump house at the Chin Reservoir and hold that water until the plant calls for it. The reservoirs provide a supply ‘cushion’ of approximately 500,000 cubic metres when they are full as they are now. The water treatment plant reservoirs receive a steady quantity of water pumped from Chin throughout the winter while the demand from the Town fluctuates each day/week/month. Typically, the two reservoirs would not drop below 80 per cent over the winter as the system is fairly balanced.”

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