Press Release

Alliance for Water Efficiency Announces New Pilot Program to Make Canadian Plumbing More Sustainable

2013-06-14

awe small logoMedia Contact: Kirk Stinchcombe
Phone: 250-588-6851
Email: kirk@econics.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO – The Alliance for Water Efficiency, with funding from the Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project, is launching a national water sustainability training and accreditation program for plumbers. Canada has 44,820 plumbers that interface daily with home owners and businesses, providing a significant opportunity to strengthen water conservation efforts across the country. Yet, water sustainability is not integrated into apprenticeship programs.

“We are very grateful to RBC for funding this exciting opportunity to advance water efficiency in Canada,” announced Mary Ann Dickinson, President and CEO of the Alliance for Water Efficiency. “Sustainability training for plumbers is a natural fit. By providing consistent and relevant information across the country, this program will help plumbing professionals improve water use in homes and businesses.”

“Water is our most precious natural resource, and we know that industry, government, business and individuals can all play a part in protecting water in our growing towns and cities,” said Shari Austin, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director, RBC Foundation. “We are pleased to help the Alliance for Water Efficiency contribute in such a tangible way to a culture of water stewardship.”

The Canadian pilot program will cover the fundamentals of water treatment and supply, advances in water efficient technology, and opportunities in sustainable practices. It will also provide testing and accreditation so plumbers can market their standardized training to customers. After completion, plumbers will have the knowledge and tools necessary to be frontline water efficiency and conservation ambassadors.

Training will be offered to 120 plumbers this fall in the Greater Toronto Area, the Region of Waterloo and City of Guelph, and in Vancouver. Feedback from these pilot sessions along with a national industry survey will be used to customize a Canadian program, setting the stage for ongoing national delivery.

The Alliance for Water Efficiency is collaborating with its Canadian chapter, the Canadian National Water Efficiency Network, as well as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Econics, a BC-based services firm that specializes in water sustainability.

Kathy McAlpine Sims, Chair of the Canadian National Water Efficiency Network and Water Efficiency Program Manager for Halton Region noted, “Water sustainability training specific to the plumbing trade is currently very limited in Canada.  By working directly with the tradespeople, we hope to fill this gap.  The goal is to create a culture of water efficiency in the industry that the plumbers will then pass on to their customers.”

This project complements the Alliance for Water Efficiency’s mandate to advocate for water efficient products and programs, and to provide information and assistance on water conservation efforts.

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About the Alliance for Water Efficiency
The Alliance for Water Efficiency is a non-profit organization dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water. Headquartered in Chicago, the Alliance serves as a worldwide advocate for water efficient products and programs, and provides information and assistance on water conservation efforts. More information is available at www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org.

About RBC Blue Water Project
The RBC Blue Water Project is an historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $38 million to more than 650 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, with an additional $7.8 million pledged to universities for water programs. In 2013-2014, the RBC Blue Water Project will focus on supporting initiatives that help protect water in towns, cities and urbanized areas. For further information, visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.