A coalition of environmental, industry, labour and community organizations as well as individual Ontarians launched a public campaign today to advocate that the provincial government includes a strong conservation and efficiency theme in the proposed Water Opportunities Act. The Ontario Water Conservation Alliance is also releasing its platform entitled Conserve Our Water.

“A strong water conservation and efficiency program will create jobs, protect the environment and save Ontario taxpayer dollars by avoiding new and unnecessary water facilities and lowering energy costs,” said Carol Maas of the POLIS Water Sustainability Project.

“It is far cheaper to fix inefficiencies than to build new infrastructure and the savings go beyond our pocketbook,” added Derek Stack, executive director of Great Lakes United. “Water conservation will reduce the energy used to pump, treat and heat water and this will lower greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.”

The Alliance came together after the government announced its plans for the Act as part of the Speech from the Throne. While supportive of the government’s intention to make water issues a public policy priority, the Alliance believes an environmentally sustainable and economically secure province requires a comprehensive water conservation and efficiency strategy.

The Alliance’s platform is built on three key themes: setting meaningful targets and measuring performance; requiring conservation plans, establishing efficiency standards, and supporting green infrastructure; and fostering market transformation and a culture of conservation.

“Government incentives used to help foster a culture of water conservation would create new opportunities for green technology developed by Ontario entrepreneurs,” said Jerrad Hennessy, GM of Niagara Flapperless, developer of water efficient toilets. “Programs aimed at the adoption of new green technology would be good news for businesses, good news for consumers and good news for all Ontarians concerned about the responsible and efficient use of water.”

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“The Province has opened the door to a new way of thinking about water,” said Stack. “The Ontario Water Conservation Alliance urges the government to seize this historic opportunity to secure a healthy, clean water supply for many generations to come.”

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