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April 13, 2024 April 13, 2024

Town issues response to anticipated drought conditions

Posted on March 21, 2024 by Taber Times

Town of Taber

As the public is likely aware, the province is experiencing drought conditions. While the Town of Taber currently has adequate water stored in our reservoirs, we are acting now to inform residents, given that the peak watering season nears, and drought conditions are expected to persist.

Understanding the Severity & Our Reservoirs

Recent data and forecasts have indicated low levels of rainfall and depleted water sources across the region and province. This prolonged dry period has the potential to impact the Town’s water supply.

Presently, Taber has a water reserve that will last for three months at current consumption rates. However, with the onset of spring, water usage typically increases with outdoor water use. We are collaborating with the St. Mary River Irrigation District (our water supplier), to ensure a steady water supply for our community now and in the future. There is no need to be alarmed, but we are asking residents to be informed and prepared should drought conditions persist.

Actions the Municipality is Taking

The Town is developing a comprehensive and evolving water management plan to address varying degrees of drought. This plan may include multiple levels of action and corresponding water restrictions, depending on and adjusting to conditions. Additionally, our municipal staff are exploring water conservation methods for our buildings, services, and infrastructure, and will share these strategies as needed, or if there is any future impact to the public. The Town has also been in close contact with the Province and will adhere to any requirements or restrictions imposed by the Provincial Government, if necessary.

A new Water Conservation Bylaw was adopted at the March 11th Council Meeting, replacing our existing 23-year-old bylaw. This modern bylaw is in line with those of other Alberta communities, enabling Taber to manage water scarcity effectively. It introduces three levels of water restrictions (Levels I, II, & III), with stricter rules at each level. We’ve created an easy-to-understand infographic to explain the implications of each restriction level. For a detailed look at the restrictions in the bylaw, visit www.taber.ca/bylaws.

In the weeks ahead, we will share information on how the community can conserve water. We encourage everyone to engage with our communications and take the steps suggested, especially as we move into spring and water demand increases. The Town of Taber sincerely appreciates the public’s support.

The Town of Taber is not yet calling for water restrictions, but we are asking the public for their help in reducing their water usage now and into the rest of 2024.

If restrictions are implemented, the public will be notified at the time of enactment.

Your Role is Crucial

In response to the drought conditions, we urge all residents to:

• Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest information through the Town of Taber’s official communication channels. Check our website (www.taber.ca) and follow us on social media (@TownofTaber) for reliable updates. Be careful of rumours or false information- only trust official Town sources of information for any current restriction information.

• Conserve Water & Plan Ahead: Every action to save water helps. Be conscious of your water use both outside and inside your home. Simple measures, such as taking shorter showers, using a rain barrel, repairing leaks, and opting for water-efficient appliances, can significantly reduce water consumption. Anticipate how a decrease in water availability could impact your daily life and prepare accordingly. You don’t need to hoard water: by everyone doing their part and using water wisely and saving it when you can, our reservoirs should maintain sufficient supply.

• Be Fire-Aware: Dry conditions increase the risk of wildfires. Notably, the Government of Alberta has declared the start of the 2024 Wildfire Season on February 20th, which is earlier than in past years. Be mindful of fire bans and advisories in your area. Enhance your property’s fire resistance and create an emergency plan (and preparedness kits) for your family.

• Prepare for Restrictions: In the event that drought conditions persist, the Town might introduce water usage restrictions, such as limits on lawn watering, pool filling, and car washing. We will inform the community about any necessary restrictions if they are enacted.

 Further Information and Resources

• Drought Info: Visit the Town of Taber’s website for more information, tips on water conservation, and updates on the drought situation: www.taber.ca/drought

• Wildfire Preparedness: For information, tips, resources, translations, and more on wildfires, please visit www.alberta.ca/wildfires

• Emergency Preparedness: For general information and resources on preparing your family for emergencies, please visit www.alberta.ca/BePrepared

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