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HomeNews'Cyclical or not', Mayor Hyggen says wastewater resources remains serious issue

‘Cyclical or not’, Mayor Hyggen says wastewater resources remains serious issue

Southern Alberta is facing a crisis due to lack of water resources, as southern Albertans head into a spring drought season. Both rural and city residents may need to modify their water use habits to help reduce water consumption, collectively. 

Lethbridge Mayor Blaine Hyggen says the city is looking at what is happening locally with the wastewater issue and the drought. “Whether people say it’s cyclical or not, this is an issue and it’s a serious issue.” 

In the past, Hyggen says, the city has issued voluntary water restrictions, which may not be voluntary in the future, depending on the area’s snowpack and moisture in the next short while. 

“We’ve been digging deep into that. Administration has been bringing us quite a few different suggestions of what we can do to try and alleviate some of those concerns. It is still concerning. I’ll be very honest. Are we going to have water to drink? Absolutely, we are. We don’t want to be concerned to that point, but we do need to be cognizant of the water we have,” adds Hyggen. “And not just water your lawn seven days a week for five hours a day.” 

According to Hyggen, the local water issue is probably one of the biggest things the city needs to focus on in 2024. One of the ideas discussed is xeriscaping, which is a way to have livable landscapes without excess water use. 

Hyggen notes Lethbridge has more parks per capita than most places in North America. 

“You can imagine the moisture that’s needed to keep them beautiful. Maybe instead of watering three times a week, it goes down to two times a week or whatever. There are many things that need to be done to mitigate some of these concerns that we’re facing.” 

The city is also looking at incentives such as AstroTurf or xeriscaping yards, says Hyggen. “Maybe there will be something coming forward from council to offer incentives. “These options are up in the air right now.” 

 

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