The hot, dry periods Okotoks experienced last summer have initiated efforts from the town to attempt to reduce water consumption this season.

Sustainability Coordinator for the town, Dawn Smith, says the water rebate program is designed to modify our landscape and reduce water use in yards.

"The intent is to reduce our peak water demand. last year we had a really hot, dry period and we need to start curtailing those peak demand days," she said.

The town will continue to rebate drought tolerant ground cover, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, which has been on the rebate program for quite some time.

The town has also added a new component to the program.

"This year we've added drought tolerant planting, so plants, trees and shrubs. There's a very specific list that are great for this area and are also deer resistant," said Smith.

Smith says the town also intends to continue with mulch, rain barrels and larger scale rain water harvesting systems to reduce use.

In addition to the new component, a Pilot Project has been introduced by the town for Xeriscaping as part of the program.

" We're choosing applications for larger xeriscapes, where you're putting fifty per cent coverage with xeriscaping plants, and on that one we're doing a thousand dollar rebate," said Smith.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping concept that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water or irrigation. Applications for the project will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

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