February 17, 2011
Media Release

The Regional Municipality of York creates Long-term Water Conservation Strategy

Blueprint for water conservation initiatives, 40-years into the future
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York continues its role as an environmental leader with the creation of a Long-term Water Conservation Strategy, a living document shaping York Region’s water conservation initiatives over the next 40 years.  York Region is recognized for success in water conservation and the strategy dovetails with innovative Regional programs already in place.

In 2007, York Regional Council approved the York Region Sustainability Strategy, “Towards a Sustainable Region.”  As components of the Long-term Water Conservation Strategy are implemented, several action items within the Sustainability Strategy will be fulfilled. 

 “The Long-term Water Conservation Strategy is a comprehensive plan for action developed with considerable input from residents and stakeholders,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Through public consultation exercises, a public vision for future water efficiency and conservation programming was expressed, and we have committed to making this vision a reality.”

Creation of the strategy, along with its submission to the Ministry of the Environment at the end of March 2011, is a component of the approvals granted by the Ministry for the Southeast Collector Trunk Sewer Individual Environmental Assessment and the Intra-basin Transfer initiative.  The strategy will report annually on targets and performance measures, and will be updated every five years to ensure York Region continues to adopt international best practices in our water conservation efforts.

“York Region already does an exceptional job promoting water conservation through our Water for Tomorrow program,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee.  “The Long-term Water Conservation Strategy is a natural extension of that program and encompasses best practices from around the world.  We can all contribute more to long-term water conservation.”

Program components of the Long-term Water Conservation strategy include:
• Governance and administration
• Policies and bylaws
• Rebates and other financial instruments
• New development
• Pricing
• Marketing outreach and education
• Maximizing sustainability of the water supply through application of best-in-class technology and practices
• Maximizing the use of energy efficient technologies, processes and practices
Between 1998 and 2006, York Region spent $10 million toward Water for Tomorrow capital program components, resulting in a savings of 20.3 million litres of water per day.  To supply that same amount of water to residents and businesses, it is estimated that York Region would have had to spend $40 million to build new infrastructure.  Reducing the use of treated water by residents and businesses will save on future capital costs as well as energy required to treat water and ensure an adequate supply for future needs.

For information on the Long-term Water Conservation Strategy, please visit www.openwater.ca
For 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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