Water Efficiency Strategy

Guelph is one of Canada’s largest communities to rely on a limited groundwater supply to meet our community’s water needs. Water efficiency and conservation efforts—by residents, businesses and the City— are critical to ensuring our groundwater supply isn’t overused. Mindful efforts and actions to conserve water use protect our environment and benefit our community through cost savings that would otherwise be needed to bring on new water supplies.

The 2016 Water Efficiency Strategy update identifies improvements to current programs and suggests new ones that will help Guelph achieve greater water supply savings. The update looks at possible water savings, program implementation timelines, and the resources needed to support these programs. The Water Efficiency Strategy update is aimed at achieving the water demand reduction goals of the 2014 Water Supply Master Plan Update.


What is involved in updating the Water Efficiency Strategy?

Base tasks to be completed as part of the strategy update include the following:

  • The creation and implementation of a community engagement plan
  • Measurement and quantification of the current water conservation and efficiency progress and impact
  • Analysis of total water demand and consumption by sector
  • Identification, evaluation, and recommendation of conservation and efficiency programs
  • Development of a water efficiency strategy implementation plan

Why is the Water Efficiency Strategy being updated?

In July of 2014 Guelph City Council endorsed the Water Final Draft Supply Master Plan Update. Through update, water capacity reclaimed through Water Conservation and Efficiency continued to be a top priority in achieving a sustainable and cost effective local water supply. With these new goals in mind it was necessary that Guelph Water Services to revise the 2009 Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy to meet the identified water saving target for 2038.

What is the new water savings target?

Through the evaluation of the feasibility and value of multiple water conservation program scenarios, the final draft Water Supply Master Plan recommended the City’s water demand reduction target be revised to achieve an additional 9,147 m3 per average day of supply capacity by 2038, the planning period of the City’s Official Plan. That is equal to a water savings of just over 3 Olympic sized swimming pools each day!

Background research reports


A draft of the City’s final report on the Water Efficiency Strategy was available for public review and comment in May 2016. The strategy update began in May 2015 and included multiple opportunities for public input and review through focused stakeholder meetings, open houses and online participation. Feedback from these engagement opportunities was used to inform the program and service improvements recommended in the report.

Open house documents

Community Liaison Committee meeting documents

Terms of Reference

Meeting #1, June 2015

Meeting #2, September 2015

Meeting #3, January 2016

Meeting #4, March 2016

Meeting #5, May 2016


Final Summary Report

Final Water Efficiency Strategy update summary report

Final Report


Technical memorandums

Other documents

Related studies

For more information

Water Services
[email protected]