The City of Guelph has released its new, draft Water Efficiency Strategy and is inviting the public review and provide feedback.

Since May 2015, the municipality has been engaging the public to provide input into what the water efficiency programs that have been most effective and new ideas to be even more aggressive in water efficiency and conservation. Water conservation has been an integral part of water management within the City of Guelph for almost 20 years.

Emily Stahl, the supervisor of Water Efficiency for the city said, “It’s been a very consultative, positive and constructive process. People in our community genuinely care about our water resources. They have really great ideas for new and better ways to save water.”

Highlights of the draft strategy include:

  • Adjusting the terms of the toilet rebate program to offer a $50 rebate;
  • Discontinuing the Smart Wash high efficiency clothes washer rebate program as a result of changes in consumer behaviours;
  • Modifying the Blue Built Home program to allow any home that meets a minimum level of water savings to be certified and qualify for rebates;
  • Improving the ICI Capacity Buyback program that provides financial assistance for water use facility audits and potential one time financial incentives for the implementation of capital retrofits;
  • Working more actively with the multi-residential property sector to offer water demand analysis to help detect leaks, and identify refined metering options;
  • Continuing the implementation of district metered areas, which help identify and manage leaks and water losses in the City’s distribution system;
  • Collecting and providing access to hourly water data using automated water readings.
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“As we updated the strategy we considered Guelph’s growing population, shifts and improvements in available water efficiency technology, and the lifespan of current programs,” said Stahl.

“Guelph residents currently use around 167 litres per person per day, which is much less than provincial and national averages. We’re looking to build on our success and reduce average day use to 157 litres per person in Guelph by 2038, and the updated programs and services in our report are designed to help us get there.”

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The City estimates that the conservation and efficiency programs results in annual operational savings of over $534,000 per year.

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