June 10, 2009
Media Release

Sustainable servicing for growth and preserving natural heritage are priorities for update to Water and Wastewater Master Plan

Water and Wastewater Master Plan circulated for final public review
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council has approved the release of the draft update to the Region’s Water and Wastewater Master Plan for public review.  The Master Plan update is the blueprint for sustainable long-term water and wastewater servicing that meets growth plan targets while preserving the natural heritage and environment.
“This Master Plan presents an exceptional level of achievement in the area of sustainability,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Our need for safe and clean drinking water, coupled with our need to protect our natural environment, requires Regional infrastructure that will safeguard our watersheds in the most sustainable manner possible.”
During the Water and Wastewater Master Plan update discussions, residents and stakeholders expressed the need for safe and clean drinking water and respect for healthy watersheds and natural heritage.  At the same time, they expect value-for-money and reliable water and wastewater systems.
“We have collaborated with residents and stakeholders to ensure we are meeting the needs of our communities,” said Town of Markham Regional Councillor Tony Wong, Chair of York Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “Our innovative water conservation practices are leading-edge and, at the same time, our wastewater infrastructure will protect and sustain our environment for the benefit of future generations.”
York Region’s population is forecast to grow to 1.5 million people by 2031 and as much as 1.8 million by 2051.  Adding 500,000 people in two decades is comparable to adding the combined populations of our two largest cities, Markham and Vaughan.  The demand for water and wastewater servicing resulting from rapid population and economic growth will eventually exceed water and wastewater system capacities and place limitations on where growth can occur.
“Our residents and stakeholders demand nothing less than the best when it comes to water quality and reliability,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of York Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “York Region’s drinking water quality consistently exceeds Provincial standards and this Master Plan will help ensure we keep it that way.”
The estimated cost to implement the needed infrastructure to 2031 is $4.8 billion, with the following breakdown:
• $2.9 billion for Wastewater
• $1.9 billion for Water
Regional Council authorized staff to circulate the draft report for a minimum 30-day public review period.  Comments received by September 30, 2009 will be considered and incorporated into the final report presented to Regional Council for approval in the fall of 2009.  The Master Plan update will support a Regional Official Plan update to be submitted to Regional Council for approval by the end of the year.
The draft master plan is available on the York Region website at www.york.ca 
To obtain more information about the master plan update, please call York Region’s Planning and Development Services Department at 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1550, or send your request via email to masterplan@york.ca
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate 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
Backgrounder:  Master Plan draft reports reflect three rounds of public input
Maps:  Wastewater Projects by 2031
 Water Projects by 2031

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