National Council of Women of Canada

August 10, 2010 For Immediate Release: Canada-wide Water and Energy Conservation Survey shows strong public support for water protection policies but where support meets cost- or the public’s reluctance to reuse water, action is often stalled

The NCWC Education Fund and National Council of Women of Canada alerted water conservation groups to-day to findings from a small, but in-depth, survey of 326 Canadians from 80 communities in 10 provinces, regarding their water use habits and opinions on government programs and policies. These show cost and public reluctance to conserve water as potentially high barriers to further improvements in water and energy conservation.

As “Water and Energy Conservation Survey: Making a Difference in Canada” Co-ordinator, Gracia Janes said, “ While support for almost all the suggested policies was very high , the economic impacts of some policies indicate a significant barrier to further improvements. e.g. the lowest level of public support is for increases in the cost of water for municipal water users of 52%.”

The other elephant in the room is the perception that we have lots of water and so can continue using plenty. Ms. Janes noted that while “The survey showed respondents scored well overall as a result of local and provincial programs, information campaigns and incentives e.g. getting rid of plastic bags (75%) recycling (69%), buying close to home (61%), the lowest respondent score was for reuse of water i.e. often (15%) sometimes (46%) , never (39%).”

The good news is that Canadians are “passionate about protecting Canada’s water and our water sovereignty, which is shown by the very high (80%) support for Federal legislation to keep water within natural river basins and for a National water policy (77%).”

Since public water conservation education campaigns and groups e.g. the new Ontario Water Conservation Alliance , are picking up steam, there is a good chance over the next few years that public ideals will translate into personal action on the water conservation front and more government legislation, policies , programs and incentives to protect this valuable resource .

Information : Gracia Janes, 905 468 2841
*Attached: Survey Results
The National Council of Women of Canada is a federation comprised of Local Councils, Provincial Councils, and National Organizations. Founded in 1893, it was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1914 and has been designated by the Government of Canada as being of national historic significance for its role in Canadian women’s history. For more information, consult our web site at or contact our national office at #506, 251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1X3.