The Town of Cochrane will align with the recent Alberta government Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), requesting municipalities to reduce water use by five to 10 per cent.

Today, Rebecca Schultz, minister of Environment and Protected Areas, announced 38 of the largest and oldest water licensees in southern Alberta have voluntarily agreed to reduce the water they use if severe drought conditions develop this spring or summer.

While not among the signatories, Cochrane is voluntarily supporting the collaboration to reduce water use if severe drought conditions develop this spring or summer.

Schultz says the landmark agreements with will let more Albertans access water in a drought and reduce the negative impacts on communities, the economy and the environment. She believes a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in water use by municipalities is a reasonable target that can be achieved without affecting indoor water use.

Mayor Jeff Genung says the town is committed to join with other municipalities to doing its part.

"As Albertans, we face a shared challenge in preserving our water resources," states Mayor Jeff Genung in a news release. "That's why the MOU on water sharing is so important. It allows us to come together as communities and support each other in this effort."

He says Cochrane takes water conservation seriously.

"We've invested in programs and seen reductions in water use, but every drop matters. We'll continue exploring ways to reduce consumption and encourage our residents to join us. By making small changes at home, together we can make a big difference for our province's water future."

Thanks to the long-term commitment of residents to water conservation, Cochrane utilized only 65 per cent of its water licence in 2023. Daily water use per capita has decreased by 36 per cent since 2007 to 255 litres from 400.

Additionally, a water loss mitigation program launched last year saw Cochrane recover 71 million litres of water, equivalent to the annual use of 376 Cochrane household.

READ MORE: Cochrane well prepared for drought season

Council recently approved changes to the water utility bylaw, enhancing water sustainability.

For years, the town has offered a range of incentives for lawn alternatives, mulch, rescue soil, rain barrels, and high-efficiency toilets and washing machines to encourage water conservation.

Administration is seeking new ways to enhance water conservation to ensure the town achieves the water use reduction targets outlined in the MOU. Cochrane remains steadfast in its commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration with neighbouring municipalities.