Sharing Our Waters
There are many ways we depend on the Bow River
There are many, many users of the Bow River water and all are dependent on this shared water supply. These many users - wildlife, industry, municipalities, hydro-power, agriculture, and recreation - commonly have no other source of water. So, we must protect and share this water.
Not all water use is the same!
Some water use occurs in the river, such as by wildlife and for fisheries and recreation. Some water is withdrawn from the river, used, and returned (non-consumptive use). Municipalities return over 90% of the water they use as treated sewage. Some water is withdrawn from the river and not returned (consumptive use). In dry years, irrigation returns about 20% of what it withdraws. Most of the rest is used by plants, whereas some evaporates and a small amount sinks into the ground. Withdrawal of water from the river reduces river flow and can have an impact on wildlife habitat in and along the river.
Licensed water use of the Bow River: