Guelph first Canadian city recognized by the Alliance for Water Efficiency

Guelph, Ont., January 21, 2019 —The City has received silver level recognition from the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) for its water efficiency programs. Guelph is the first Canadian municipality to achieve such recognition.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized again for our water-saving programs,” says Heather Yates, the City’s supervisor for water efficiency. “The dedication of our staff and the ongoing participation of the community have helped us consistently meet, and often outdo, our water conservation and efficiency targets.”

“We are pleased to recognize the City of Guelph’s innovative and successful water efficiency and conservation efforts through their addition to the AWE G480 Leaderboard,” notes Bill Christiansen, Director of Programs at AWE.

Recognition on AWE’s G480 Leaderboard is based on how a municipality, or water utility, meets the American Water Works Association G480 Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standards. These standards are considered the best in class for developing, delivering and evaluating a water conservation program. Application criteria includes:

  • compliance with local regulatory requirements
  • integrated water efficiency practices, such as having metering and seasonal water use strategies in place
  • development of a water efficiency strategy, and
  • fostering a culture of water conservation within the community

This recognition affirms the City’s dedication to water conservation and efficiency as a community priority.

“Guelph residents currently use around 163 litres of water per person per day, which is much less than provincial and national averages,” notes Yates. “We’re working toward reducing the average use to 150 litres per person per day by 2038. The community’s participation in our water efficiency programs will help us get there.”

About Guelph Water

Guelph is one of the largest communities that relies on groundwater for its municipal water supply. The City’s Water Supply Master Plan identified water efficiency programs as a top priority for achieving the City’s water use reduction target of 9,147 cubic metres per day by 2038, an amount equivalent to almost four Olympic-sized swimming pools every day. Water use in 2017 was about 37,950 cubic metres per day, enough water to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Visit to learn more about water conservation in Guelph.

About the City’s Water Efficiency Strategy

The City updated the Water Efficiency Strategy in 2016. The updated strategy makes it easier for people in Guelph to save water at home and at work every day with new and updated programs.

As of 2016, an investment of $10.2 million in water conservation and efficiency programs and resources has resulted in over $40 million in savings from deferred infrastructure projects and related operating costs that the City would otherwise have needed to build to supply the Guelph community with drinking water.

The City has budgeted $13 million for water conservation and efficiency programs between 2017 and 2026 for an expected future costs savings of $29 million.

About the Alliance for Water Efficiency

The Alliance for Water Efficiency, a non-profit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water, recognizes water utilities, like the City of Guelph’s, that have adopted and complied with the G480 Water Conservation Program Operation and Management Standard. Participants can earn platinum, gold or silver level recognition. For more information on the Alliance for Water Efficiency, visit

Media contact

Heather Yates, Supervisor, Water Efficiency
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2831
[email protected]