Calgary’s water crisis should be a wake-up call for Canada: experts

As Calgary enters day 12 of a water crisis caused by a massive water main break, some experts say this should be a wake-up call to other cities across the country.

“If this can happen in a city that is doing a decent job of maintaining its pipes, being aware of the challenges within the system and assessing the condition of assets, then this should be a warning sign to other cities,” Kerry said Black. , an assistant professor and Canadian research chair at the University of Calgary.

Black says there is a huge infrastructure gap in Canada and North America.

“We need to prioritize investments in our infrastructure and these cannot simply be placed on the backs of cities,” she said.

Troy Vassos, an adjunct professor of civil engineering and technical advisor at the University of British Columbia, says the focus should not just be on new infrastructure, but on replacing infrastructure.

“We keep talking about new infrastructure, new pipes, new treatment plants, but in fact the ticking time bomb is the older infrastructure that needs to be replaced.”

Meanwhile, Calgary’s mayor declared a local state of emergency this weekend to help expedite repairs.

The feeder’s main pipe that ruptured on June 5 has been repaired, but five other fractures, so-called ‘hotspots’, found on the pipe need to be repaired.

“Those repairs have begun and we will continue to work on them at the same time,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek

Three of the pipe sections are in Calgary and the other two are from San Diego.

The timeline for completing all repairs is 3 to 5 weeks.

“We are moving heaven and literally earth to get these remaining hotspots safe as quickly as possible,” said Coby Duerr, acting chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

Until the line is fully repaired, Calgarians and people in some surrounding communities are asked to continue conserving water indoors and not using water outdoors.

While repairs will take a little longer, the Calgary Stampede will go on, but in a responsible manner, says the event’s CEO, Joel Cowley.

“Our management team and volunteer leaders met to identify all the places we used water at Stampede Park during the Calgary Stampede. And to the extent possible, we will try to offset the use of Calgary treated water at those locations. ”

The Stampede attracts visitors from all over the world and generates $282 million for Alberta’s economy.