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June 15, 2000
Works Committee Approves New Summer Outdoor Water Use Policy
Works and Emergency Services --- At its meeting today, Toronto's Works
Committee approved a new Summer Outdoor Water Use Policy that will help reduce
peak water use and conserve the city's water supply in times of high demand.
An Outdoor Water Use Advisory will be issued when summer water use is
approaching the water supply system's capacity. People will be asked to stop
lawn watering and reduce other outdoor water use while the Advisory is in
effect. Normally, people are asked to water their lawns no more than once a
week and to water during off-peak hours, between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

When an Outdoor Water Use Advisory is issued, all landscape irrigation systems
operated by the city will be halted. The exceptions to this will be critical
areas, such as golf courses and new tree planting sites. York Region, which
receives water from Toronto, will be asked to implement a similar Summer
Outdoor Water Use Policy and notify their residents when Toronto issues an
Outdoor Water Use Advisory.

"In the past, residents have been cooperative when asked to curtail water use
during periods of high consumption," said Michael D'Andrea, Manager,
Infrastructure Asset Management. He added that, "when the news media reported
that water use was approaching the water system's capacity, people have
responded by reducing their water use to help the community avoid a water

The City of Toronto wants to reduce the amount of water used by city residents
and businesses. Toronto must make sure that its water and wastewater systems
can meet the demands of residents and businesses on the maximum (or peak)
demand day every year. By reducing water use and lowering the maximum day
demand, the city is also able to defer capital works spending.

Lawns need about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water every week. People can help avoid
the issuance of an Outdoor Water Use Advisory by practicing outdoor water
efficiency. The city is offering free rain gauges to keep track of the water
falling on the lawn from both a sprinkler and rain. Rain gauges are available
free to all Toronto residents at Access Toronto counters in all city civic
centres, City Hall and Metro Hall. Resident can purchase a Peak Pail containing
outdoor water efficiency devices such as an automatic sprinkler timer. People
can call 416-392-4546 for purchasing details.

The policy now goes forward for final approval by Toronto Council in July.

See Backgrounder for fast
facts and outdoor water efficiency tips.

Media Contact
Access Toronto



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