April 24, 2008
Media Release

York Region defines its commitment to sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure and practices

The highly successful Water for Tomorrow in effect more than a decade
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NEWMARKET York Regional Council today adopted the Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy, a comprehensive framework to oversee the Regional Municipality of York's water and wastewater resources on a long-term, environmentally-conscious basis.
"The York Region Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy builds upon the strong foundation established by York Region's award-winning water conservation program Water for Tomorrow," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  "This strategy will further guide us in delivering high quality water and wastewater services to our growing communities, while protecting our water supply and effectively managing our water and wastewater infrastructure."
Water for Tomorrow, York Region's water efficiency program, has saved 47 billion litres of water over the past decade.  Its innovative water conservation initiatives currently save 20 million litres per day, which is enough water to supply 84,000 people.
The new Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy incorporates Water for Tomorrow and focuses on 10 themes, providing guiding principles for each.  The principles describe the commitments York Region has made to ensure policies and practices to deliver water and wastewater services are sustainable from three perspectives: the economy, liveable communities and the environment.
"This is a planned and managed approach to maintain water and wastewater sustainability," said Town of Markham Regional Councillor Tony Wong, Chair of York Region's Planning and Economic Development Committee.  "This framework of water and wastewater sustainability principles and performance indicators will assist staff in assessing planning forecasts and determining future demands on our water supply and wastewater collection systems."
The development of the Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy included a review of best practices world-wide, a detailed look at the present regulatory requirements and a review of current York Region policies, programs and practices.
The strategy represents an ongoing, long-term commitment to servicing in York Region.  A complete implementation schedule will formally incorporate sustainability principles throughout the Water and Wastewater Master Plan.  It will also address all water and wastewater sustainability strategy actions and performance targets, along with ongoing measures for monitoring and controlling performance.
The strategy responds to public interest and requests to define sustainable infrastructure.  Public consultation and ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders will continue as the strategy's implementation unfolds.

The strategy was developed within the context of the existing legislative and regulatory framework, including:
 Safe Water Drinking Act
 Clean Water Act
 Ontario Water Resources Act
 Sustainable Water and Sewage System Act
 Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act
 Greenbelt Act
 Ministry of the Environment Guideline F-5
 Places to Grow Act and
 Safeguarding and Sustaining Ontario's Water Act
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

Water and Wastewater Sustainability Strategy Principles
Safe and clean drinking water
Providing safe and clean drinking water to all of our residents

Healthy watersheds
Recognizing our impacts and promoting responsible practices for all residents to protect our watersheds

Respect for natural heritage
Respecting, restoring and protecting our natural environment

Wise use of water
Using water wisely and ensuring adequate water resources for today's residents and future generations

Community well-being
Providing reliable services to ensure continuing community well-being and economic vitality

Funding and value-for-money
Committing to full and equitable funding of services

Timely and integrated service delivery
Supporting efficient growth through the timely delivery of services in coordination with new infrastructure such as roads and transit

Climate change and energy efficiency
Mitigating the impacts of climate change through demand and capacity planning and the design and efficient operation of services

Communications, consultation and engagement
Planning and implementing services in an open, transparent and accountable manner based on broad consultation, citizen engagement and consensus on the need to practice sustainability

Monitoring, performance measurement and adaptive management
Monitoring and reporting on implementation through objective performance measures
Learning from experience and practicing continuous improvement
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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