More snow in Calgary forecast this week, but city says watering restrictions are likely by May 1

There has been no shortage of snow lately, and while it has stopped there is a chance more will be coming.

There has been no shortage of the white stuff as of late, and there is a chance more could be coming.

But, will it be enough to fight back against drought?

March has brought double-than-average snow totals to Calgary, and as of Sunday, the city has received a little over 40 centimetres this month.

Heather Pimiskern with Environment Canada says you shouldn’t put the shovels away just yet.

“We’re expecting a system to develop later this week and bring snow and below seasonal temperatures to the Calgary area once again,” she said.

On average, Calgary sees around 20 centimetres of snow in March, so this is certainly a big change.

“Last year we saw, for the month of March, about 18 centimetres which is below the average for the month in general. The year prior to that we saw even less — about 11 centimetres,” Pimiskern explained.

Will this increased precipitation help avoid a drought or mitigate the damage?

Nicole Newton with the City of Calgary says it’s not likely.

“Calgarians should be preparing to anticipate outdoor water restrictions as early as spring,” she explained. “We would match the level of restrictions to the conditions that the data is telling us towards. We’re working with the province and other major water users in the basin to understand what the water supply outlook is.”

Water restrictions could come in to play in a little over a month on May 1, and steps are underway to prepare, Newton adds.

“We look at a number of factors,” she said. “The other thing is looking at the outlook, it’s not just what’s happening today, but what might be happening in a couple weeks or down the road and trying to make strategic decisions to be able to support what scale of water restrictions we would need in place to be able to preserve our water supply.”

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