Ecojustice Case – Healthy communities Case Status: Victory

Ontario’s Water Opportunities and Conservation Act

drinking water
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On November 23rd, 2010, Ecojustice celebrated alongside our Ontario Water Conservation Alliance partners the creation of a new Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act for Ontario.

The Ontario Legislature passed Bill 72 into law on November 23rd, 2010 by a vote of 59 to 25, establishing a new Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act for the province. The Act incorporated numerous recommendations by Ecojustice and, if fully implemented, this bold new legislation will help green Ontario’s economy, reduce water and energy use and save money.
Ecojustice and Alliance partners were active throughout the review and creation of the Act, including making multiple submissions outlining the key targets, plans and standards needed to transform Ontario’s water stewardship and create a culture of conservation throughout in the province. The newly passed legislation will now help:
  • Set meaningful targets and measuring performance Targets build momentum for improvement and accurate performance measurements ensure we succeed. Accountability can be maintained through mandatory monitoring and reporting of targets.
  • Require conservation plans, establishing efficiency standards and supporting green infrastructure Linking water conservation requirements explicitly to infrastructure grants will ensure we do not repeat past mistakes. In addition, land use planning, landscape design and building decisions should incorporate innovative water conservation, leafy green infrastructure and low impact development approaches.
  • Foster market transformation and a culture of conservation The province should lead by example and ensure public sector buildings, operations and facilities initiate and embrace conservation plans and water efficient procurement policies. This would feed into a broader social marketing strategy with the goal of instilling a province-wide “ethic of water stewardship.”
Ecojustice and the Water Conservation Alliance will continue to work to ensure that key water conservation measures are fully implemented for the long-term health and responsible management of Ontario’s fresh water resources.

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