Calgarians find ways to cool down amid water restrictions

Hot temperatures and sunshine are in the forecast for Calgary this weekend, but with outdoor water restrictions still in place, Calgarians are being asked to find new ways to cool down.

calgarians find ways to cool down amid water restrictions

The phones at Lazy Day Raft Rentals have been ringing off the hook on Friday, as eager rafters hope to snag a boat and hit the Bow River.

“We’re about 60% capacity for Saturday and Sunday,” said Damon Ta, who works for the rental company. “We do get a lot of bookings just as walk ups, so that will increase to maybe 80% capacity once we get there. We’re looking for a pretty busy weekend.”

Lazy Days has been open for a several weeks but with recent rain, there haven’t been many Calgarians out on the water. With warm weather now looming, and outdoor pools, splash parks and sprinklers not an option, demand has picked up for the Calgary summer staple.

calgarians find ways to cool down amid water restrictions
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Calgarians will be trying to beat the heat this weekend, as outdoor water restrictions remain in place. Global News

“There’s a lot of natural resources,” said Calgarian Christa Bezooyen. “I enjoy the heat, so as long as I know how to get on the water and be safe about it, I think it’s a good measure.”

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The raft rental company launches from the West Barker Park ramp in Barker Park in the city’s northwest. It is now sharing the site with one of the City of Calgary’s new access points for businesses in the construction industry to collect non-potable water from the Bow River.

“We’ve been working together with their project managers and supervisors, making a way for us all to coexist at this boat dock, just to make sure we can do our operations without interfering in theirs,” says Ta. “Obviously our number one priority is making sure those water trucks can come in to get water for the businesses that need them.”

calgarians find ways to cool down amid water restrictions
View image in full screen

Businesses are collecting non-potable water from the Bow River at West Barker Park in Calgary’s northwest. Global News

The Calgary Fire Department said it responds to many calls on the river, with the most common for inappropriate inflatables like floaties, people not wearing life jackets, and rafts that have been tied together.

Fire officials advise anyone heading out on the river that you can get a ticket for not wearing a lifejacket.  There are a number of safety items you need to have with you, including a bailer and a whistle.

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