On May 18, the Ontario Minister of the Environment John
Gerretsen introduced for first reading the Water Opportunities
and Water Conservation Act, 2010 ("Act" or
"Bill 72"). The proposed Act is designed to incent
innovation, create economic opportunities, reinforce water
infrastructure and promote water conservation. The proposed Act and
its complementary initiatives attempt to achieve three key
Making Ontario the North American leader in developing and
selling new technologies and services for water conservation and
Creating an integrated approach to water infrastructure
planning to achieve long-term sustainability;
Establishing the more efficient use of water through the
provision of specific incentives for municipalities,
Optimizing systems and improving water conservation.
Identifying opportunities to demonstrate and implement new and
emerging Ontario water technologies and services.
Defining measures and targets to demonstrate progress.
The proposed Act also aims to encourage efforts to significantly
reduce Ontario's residential water use. It would:
Enable the government to bring in water efficiency labelling
like the WaterSense program in the United States for appliances and
consumer products such as faucets, showerheads, and rain
Allow the government to require standardized information about
water use on water bills;
Enable government to demonstrate leadership through considering
water conservation in procurement and through conservation planning
by all public agencies.
Summary of the Water Opportunities Act:
The Act contains five schedules that describe new provisions and
various amendments to specific other Acts. Part I of Schedule 1,
describes the purposes of the act—to foster innovative
water, waste water and storm water technologies and services in the
public and private sectors, create conservation targets and to
create economic opportunities for clean technology jobs. Part II,
establishes a new corporation without share capital named the
"Water Technology Acceleration Project". Key objects of
this corporation include:
Assist in promoting the development of Ontario's water and
waste water sectors;
Increase the capacity of these sectors to develop, test,
demonstrate and commercialize innovative technologies;
Increase the capacity of the water and waste water sectors to
expand their business opportunities nationally and
Provide a forum for governments, academic institutions, and the
private sector to exchange information on how to make Ontario a
leading jurisdiction in the development and commercialization of
innovative water and waster water technologies.
Part III of the Act requires certain municipalities to prepare,
approve and submit to the Minister of the Environment municipal
water sustainability plans for municipal water services, waste
water services and storm water services. The Minister may establish
performance indicators and targets for those services which may be
reviewed and evaluation by a regulated entity.
Part IV of the Act allows the making of regulations requiring
public agencies including municipalities and government ministries
to: prepare water conservation plans, achieve water conservation
targets, ensure that goods and services or making capital
investments to consider technologies to promote the efficient use
of water resources.
Part V of the Act authorizes the making of regulations
prescribing information that must be included on or with the
municipal water bill.
Part VI of the Act authorizes the Minister of the Environment to
at least once every three years to prepare a report on various
matters related to the Act.
Schedule 2 of the Bill amends the Building Code Act,
1992 to require the Minster to initiate reviews of the
code with reference to standards for water conservation. Schedule 3
of the Bill amends the Capital Investment Plan Act, 1993 to
include new objects for the Ontario Clean Water Agency. For
example, the agency would be responsible for assisting
municipalities, the government of Ontario and others to provide
water and sewage works by financing, planning, developing, building
and operating those works and services.
Schedules 4 and 5 make amendments to the Green Energy Act
2009 and the Water Resources Act to ensure water use
standards, adoption of new technologies and conservation criteria
are taken into account by government facilities.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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