June 18, 2010
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York supports the proposed Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act

Act will advance innovative, water-efficient technologies
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York is a strong advocate of the Ministry of the Environment’s proposed Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act, which received first reading in the Ontario Legislature. If passed, the Act emphasizes developing and implementing innovative water technology and will reinforce the province’s commitment to a sustainable environment.
“York Region has maintained a leadership role in water conservation, especially during the past 13 years through our Water for Tomorrow program,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “The Water Opportunities and Conservation Act supports and builds on our conservation initiatives and signals the beginning of a new perspective on how we use water.  We look forward to supporting the Province of Ontario BY creating opportunities for water technology industries in our communities.” 
If passed, the Act has a multi-purpose mandate, including:
• Helping municipalities improve water conservation and efficiency of municipal infrastructure
• Developing innovative, cost-effective solutions to reduce excessive water use and improve water conservation
• Establishing new requirements for risk, asset and financial management plans
• Identifying opportunities to demonstrate and put into action new Ontario water technologies and services
Passage of the Act will benefit communities on many fronts.  Ontario water technologies will become a high industry priority, enabling practical and effective measures to help reduce water use, help businesses capitalize on innovation opportunities and assist municipalities to better manage water systems and optimize costs.
The Water Opportunities Act also calls for other requirements that could have significant financial impacts on York Region and local municipalities.  York Region will continue to support water conservation initiatives in our communities and advocate with the Province to ensure new requirements under the Act are sustainable for taxpayers.
“York Region is a leader in environmental initiatives and our commitment is far-reaching,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee.  “The environment is considered in every aspect of our business – from procurement of materials to innovative construction methods.”
York Region’s ongoing commitment to the environment includes development of a 40-year water strategy. The plan will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders throughout the summer and fall of 2010 and will incorporate best practices from around the world.
The proposed Act is now in a 60-day public review period.
For more information on Water for Tomorrow, please visit www.waterfortomorrow.ca
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1237 / Cell: 905 505-5775
Email: barbara.moss@york.ca

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