Water Conservation and Efficiency

February 26, 2009

Healthy Environment

Tonight, Council received an update on the Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy.  The final report will come to Council in April for approval.

There were a series of interesting key findings:

  • gross water demand has declined 17% from 1999 to 2007 (1999 was when the first Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy was adopted); this reduction occured even though the City population increased by 14%
  • daily residential single family water demand was 230 litres per person in 2007 compared to a national average of 335 (way to go Guelph!); people living in multi-residential units used even less water per person  per day (153 litres)
  • 58% of water is used by homes while 42% is used by the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector
  • only 5% of 133 industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) customers consume 80% of the overall ICI water demand
  • the city has one of the lowest peaking factors in Ontario at approximately 1.28 (it ranges from 1.5 to 2.5% in other municipalities); this means on the hottest days of the summer we don’t pig out on water (this saves alot of infrastructure costs)
  • we have saved 1,233,000 litres per average day due to the conservation and efficiency efforts initiated in 2003

The whole strategy is based on the fact that it costs more to build new water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure ($3.00 to $8.00/litre capacity/day) than it does to reclaim water capacity through water conservation and efficiency programs (less than $4.00/litre capacity/day).  The average cost of the programs being recommended is $2.31/litre capacity/day. 

We still have work to deal with leaks in the system – a mitigation plan is part of the strategy.

We did learn at the meeting that this strategy is among the most comprehensive in the Province thanks to our staff, the strong consulting team, public input, and the commitment of the citizen members of the public advisory committee.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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