Finding water is a challenge at Calgary Stampede during heat wave

Finding water is a challenge at Calgary Stampede during heat wave
Finding water is a challenge at Calgary Stampede during heat wave

The heat wave hitting Calgary this week is reaching its peak. And as the saying goes, it’s hotter in Stampede Park.

According to Kevin Stanfield, meteorologist for CityNews 660, a record could be broken on Wednesday with a chance of a high of 35 degrees Celsius during the day, breaking the record of 34 degrees Celsius for July 10, set nearly 40 years ago in 1985.

The usual advice to beat the heat is to seek shade and drink plenty of water. However, if you are going to the park, it is best to bring your own water.

CityNews spoke to visitors who waited in long lines to refill their water bottles at one of the few places in the park where people can refill their water bottles. Several people reported that the lines were long.

“They don’t make money off of free water,” said one attendee, who noted that there are plenty of places on the grounds where bottled water is available for purchase.

People line up to fill their water bottles at Stampede Park during the Calgary Stampede on July 10, 2024. Andrea Montgomery/CityNews

A few places in Stampede Park where people can refuel

  • Two fountains in the Nutrien Western Event Centre
  • One fountain in the middle of the Agricultural Barn
  • One fountain in the BMO Center
  • One fountain in the children’s Midway
  • One fountain at the Big Four building under the WestJet Skyride

According to BMO Centre staff, the water from all taps and handwashing stations is as safe to drink as the water from the fountains.

Stanfield says Stampede Park may be a little warmer than other parts of the city because of the urban heat island effect. The effect is that dark surfaces absorb more heat, while things like brick buildings and the shiny new BMO Centre reflect heat back to their surfaces.

“The sidewalk radiates heat, but it also absorbs it,” Stanfield says.

During periods of extreme heat, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) advises rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler times of the day, taking frequent breaks from the heat, and checking on children or pets before getting out of the car.

For the latest on the heat wave and the Calgary Stampede, tune in to CityNews 660.