Media Release

Industry and Environmental Groups Commend Ontario Government for Showing Leadership on Water

New legislation will create jobs, save money and benefit the environment

May 18 2010
TORONTO, May 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Ontario Water Conservation Alliance, a diverse coalition of industry, labour, environmental organizations and municipalities, welcomes the planned introduction today of the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act. The act will contain many of the ingredients necessary to allow Ontario businesses to capitalize on the growing global market for water-efficient solutions and technologies. The Alliance has been leading a public campaign to ensure conservation is a key plank in the bill.

"The legislation will position the province as a North American leader in water conservation and efficiency solutions that will stimulate innovation and create new jobs," said Theresa McClenaghan of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, speaking on behalf of the Alliance. "The Alliance is encouraged to see many of its recommendations reflected in the Bill, and if it is passed, these initiatives will signal a new way of thinking about water in Ontario."

There are enormous economic benefits from a strong government commitment to water conservation and efficiency. The revenues of the world's water-related businesses are expected to nearly double by 2020, to $1 trillion, and global water shortages will drive the need for innovations that emphasize efficiency, reuse and source diversification. Ontario is set to take advantage of this economic opportunity by spurring market demand for everything from the manufacture of new water recycling technologies, to innovative leak detection and pipe replacement, to services such as green landscaping, plumbing and urban planning. This market growth will stimulate new green-collar jobs, building on the existing 20,000 jobs in Ontario's water sector.

"This act will foster a culture of water conservation in Ontario, creating new opportunities for green technology developed by Ontario entrepreneurs," said Jerrad Hennessy, General Manager of Niagara Flapperless, the developers of leak-free water-efficient toilets and the world's first single-flush 3 litre toilet. "Programs aimed at the adoption of new green technology are good news for businesses, good news for consumers and good news for all Ontarians concerned about the responsible and efficient use of water."

By using water more efficiently, Ontarians will also save money by deferring the need to build new and expensive water infrastructure and by reducing energy consumption. In fact, a reduction in Ontario's water demand by 20 per cent in 20 years (the same target that has been set by California) would save an estimated $1 billion dollars in avoided infrastructure costs and $30 million per year in energy savings.

"The Region of York is pleased to see a strong commitment on water conservation from the provincial government," said Tracey Carrigan, Manager in the Environmental Services Department of York Region. "Embedding a culture of water conservation is a major priority for the Region and our residents, and we look forward to working with the Province in our drive to become North America's most water-efficient community."

"It is far cheaper to fix inefficiencies than to build new infrastructure, and the savings go beyond our pocketbook," said Carol Maas, Innovation and Technology Director, POLIS Water Sustainability Project and author of Canada's first comprehensive assessment of the relationship between water and energy. "Water conservation will reduce the energy used to pump, treat and heat water and this will lower greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment."

About the Ontario Water Conservation Alliance
The Ontario Water Conservation Alliance is a coalition of citizens, non-governmental organizations and businesses who believe an environmentally sustainable and economically secure province requires a comprehensive water conservation and efficiency strategy. The Alliance has been advocating for a Water Conservation and Opportunities Act for Ontario. For more information please visit: www.conserveourwater.ca.

For further information: Christopher Holcroft, Rideau Institute, for the Alliance, (416) 996-0767, cholcroft@rideauinstitute.ca

 

 

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