New HAT Smart incentive encourages water conservation

Medicine Hat – At the regular City Council meeting on May 6, 2024, Council approved an amendment to the popular HAT Smart program to incorporate a $150,000 water conservation incentive for 2024, available immediately.

“Medicine Hat is forecast to experience drought conditions this year and we can do more to reduce our residential water consumption,” said Jaret Dickie, Manager Municipal Services Business Support.

Water utility customers are grouped into the following rate classes: Residential, Irrigation, External and Commercial. Residential and irrigation customer classes constitute approximately 65 per cent of total potable water consumption in Medicine Hat.

In 2023, water consumption increased from approximately 700,000 cubic metres in April to almost two million cubic metres in late August while wastewater treatment remained relatively stable.

“Data suggests much of the water between May and September soaked into the ground instead of back into our sewer system, which aligns with the season people are watering lawns and irrigating gardens,” adds Dickie. “So, we’ve largely matched these rebates to reduce that type of water use.”

Rebates are available in the following categories:

  • Xeriscape materials
  • Drought tolerant ground cover or turf
  • Low flow exterior sprinklers
  • WaterSense® irrigation system controller
  • WaterSense® low flow toilet

The rebate covers 50 per cent of eligible expenses to a maximum amount that varies from $75 to $500 depending on the category. Furthermore, smaller water conservation items like drought resistant plants, rain barrels, rain barrel accessories, soaker hoses, and watering timers are now eligible under the existing Scratch and Win program.

Applicants must submit receipts and other applicable documentation when they request a rebate. Eligible rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the fund is fully depleted.

Visit for full program details and instructions on how to apply.

One-time funding for the 2024 water conservation incentive is allocated through working capital from the water utility. If the program is deemed successful, staff will build a sustainable funding source for water conservation initiatives into the Water Utility Bylaw as part of the 2025-2026 budget process.

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