Nicholas L. M. Allen
Oct 4, 2023
The MD of Pincher Creek and Village of Cowley are at Stage 3 water restrictions. Quickly dropping levels of the Oldman Reservoir along with other unexpected factors caused the MD to implement restrictions.
Currently, the MD of Pincher Creek is unable to pump water from the Oldman Reservoir due to drought conditions. The MD and Village of Cowley have moved to Stage 3 of the Water Shortage Response Plan as of August 16. Measures were taken immediately to augment the supply of untreated water.
The Town of Pincher is at Stage 2 Water Restrictions as of July 26. The MD of Pincher Creek, Town of Pincher Creek and Village of Cowley have activated their joint regional emergency management agency to coordinate communications and planning for the water shortage according to a statement from the MD of Pincher Creek.
The effected intake system supplying untreated water to the treatment plant in Cowley has been evaluated by Alberta Environment, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Dam Safety as well as each effected Municipality according to the statement.
“We remind all effected members of the public that the use of water has not changed from the initial declaration [moving] to stage three on August 16-23. The hauling of water with trucks has been an ongoing activity since that date, with positive results in maintaining the correct quality and quantity of water to all effected users of the MD # 9 distribution system,” said the report from the MD.
The water distribution systems of the MD of Pincher Creek, Village of Cowley and Town of Pincher Creek continue to have water. Restrictions are in place as to its use. The system for the MD of Pincher Creek and Village of Cowley is augmented by the trucking of raw water. This system covers Lundbreck, Cowley, Beaver Mines, and Castle Mountain.
The town of Pincher Creek’s raw water intake continues to be able to handle normal water usage. The town has a large raw water reservoir that can supply the town’s needs for many weeks even if no new water is taken in.
The MD of Pincher Creek and Village of Cowley are at Stage 3 water restrictions. Quickly dropping levels of the Oldman Reservoir relative to the intakes along with other unexpected factors caused the MD to implement restrictions.
The Town of Pincher Creek has been asked by Alberta Environment to restrict the amount of water taken, in order to support its neighbours and to ensure that flows sustain freshwater ecosystem. The MD of Pincher Creek is currently purchasing drinking water from the Town of Pincher according to its website.
Stage 3 is a higher level of restriction on water usage which is currently in place in Lundbreck, Cowley, Beaver Mines, and Castle Mountain. See the MD of Pincher Creek’s website for the details of the restrictions.
According to the Alberta government website, additional ways to conserve water can include:
-Limiting all outdoor uses including watering lawns and washing cars
-Do not run the tap unnecessarily. Consider reusing water where possible
-Minimize shower time and bath levels
-Use the washer and dishwasher only when necessary
-Flush toilets only when necessary
-Brainstorm ideas within your own businesses, institutions or work areas to see where other conservation efforts might make sense
The MD asks residents and businesses to please inform neighbours and keep an eye on our website and socials for further updates.
“The Alberta government and MD continues to monitor the situation watching precipitation levels, reservoirs and lake levels, stream flow rates in rivers and water demand. They continue to work closely with municipal governments to help manage and conserve water where possible,” said a statement on the Alberta government website.
Alberta is currently in water shortage management stage 4, where multiple water management areas are impacted by water shortage. Alberta’s government claims they are monitoring the situation and are working closely with water users and local governments to help manage and conserve water where possible.
Learn more about current conditions on Alberta River Basins.