January 9, 2003

York Region to extend water use efficiency industrial/institutional audit program


NEWMARKET - York Region’s Transportation and Works Committee has yesterday that the Regional Municipality of York extend the Industrial/Institutional Water Usage Audit Program to December 31, 2004, and to offer financial incentives to encourage large volume water users to implement cost-effective water saving measures.  The recommendation will be subject to Regional Council approval on January 22, 2004.


“Water conservation is far more economical and environmentally-friendly than acquiring new sources,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Extending this water use efficiency program for York Region industries will help to significantly reduce our water costs over the long term.”


Faced with tremendous growth and potentially huge capital costs for major new infrastructure, the Region formed a Long Term Water Strategy in 1996.  As part of this strategy, the water-use efficiency program Water for Tomorrow was formed, with the goal of saving 19 million litres of water per day.


To date, 55 York Region industries have participated in comprehensive water audits. Three of these have implemented the recommendations, resulting in water savings of 426,000 litres per day. 


However, the capital costs of implementing these water saving initiatives has proven to be a barrier for some industries.  To offset this, the Region has instituted a “capacity buy-back” incentive for companies, which will provide a rebate of $0.40 per litre per day for water saved, up to 50 per cent of the cost of the water efficiency upgrade.


“Getting more industries to participate in this program will be extremely helpful in keeping our water costs manageable,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell, Chair of the Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “This incentive program is not only a great way to get companies on board, but one that makes good economic sense over the long term.”


It is estimated that the incentive program will cost $300,000 to implement; an amount available in the 2004 York Region budget from savings due to cost efficiencies found in the residential/commercial retrofit component of Water for Tomorrow.


For more information about the Water for Tomorrow program, please visit their Web site at www.water4tomorrow.com


For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at: www.region.york.on.ca.




Contact:           Michael Kemp, Corporate Communications, York Region

- (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1232

                                - Email: michael.kemp@region.york.on.ca

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