2018 AWE Water Star Award

Congratulations to 2018 Recipient Glen Pleasance, Region of Durham

2018-10-08

WaterStarAward 2018 official pictureThe Alliance for Water Efficiency presents its Water Star Award every year to recognize individual excellence in water efficiency. We celebrate the “unsung hero”, the water conservation practitioner working in the trenches who makes a huge difference by their quiet dedication, passion, and progressive approaches to move forward our field.

This year’s award winner, Glen Pleasance, Water Efficiency Manager for the Region of Durham, Ontario in Canada exemplifies the qualities that we strive to honor: a personal passion for water conservation, a quiet dedication to obtaining those needed reductions in water use, and persistence in the face of numerous obstacles and challenges. He has experienced more than his usual share of obstacles and challenges, and has persevered and made important progress in achieving conservation successes.

Glen has been a successful Water Efficiency manager for the past twenty-six years. During this time, he has been quietly developing and managing programs to conserve water, making very steady progress in bringing his region into a national leadership role. During his twenty years on the job he has – virtually on his own -- designed and managed Toilet Replacement Programs, published a well-regarded Household Guide to Water Efficiency, developed Water Efficient Demonstration Gardens, conducted Summer Student Lawn Watering Reduction Programs, Implemented Rain Water Harvesting programs, managed Indoor and Outdoor Water Audit programs, and instituted Water Loss Reduction programs.

One of his biggest achievements is his leadership in changing how his region will grow in the future. Working with the Municipality of Clarington's Planning Department, he created a Water and Energy Efficient Demonstration Community. He designed an Expedited Approvals program for Green development. And, working with Clarington's staff in the community where he lives, he worked closely with home builders and others on how to achieve increased water efficiency in new construction. Working in partnership with a non-profit in the community where he lives, he helped design, fund, and manage a project to conduct a year’s worth of water & electrical sub-metering. Three home builders undertook building two homes each with these sub-meters. These six homes had over 25 beyond-code improvements. Analyzing the installed water sub-meters, the electrical sub-meters and monitoring natural gas use, the six homes were shown to use 11% less electricity & natural gas and 14% less water over the first year of occupancy. These pilot homes thus set a pattern for future development. The next phase of the project will focus on field testing LID stormwater management methods in order to make new homes & neighborhoods more climate resilient.

He has also been involved in the broader Water Conservation community. For four years he served as Chair for the AWWA Water Conservation Division’s Water Efficiency Programs and Technology Committee. For another six years he served as a trustee on the AWWA Water Conservation Division. He is a founding Executive Member of the Canadian Water Efficiency Network, and past Chair of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association’s National Water Efficiency Committee.

So when we set about creating a national water conservation organization – the Alliance for Water Efficiency – we wanted him to be part of our team. He said yes, but also no, not a national organization. Make it a North American organization. Officially include Canada, who needs to be a strong partner in the development of this new water efficiency network. After all, we two are the countries with the highest per capita water use in the world. We need to work on this together. Let’s make important progress. Together.

He certainly was convincing. And thus he became a charter board member of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and served the maximum number of 9 years on our board before being termed out. He also was an officer -- our very first Treasurer -- a role in which he dutifully served for 6 years. Finally, he contributed his expertise to numerous AWE projects, such as an AWE peer review of conservation programs in the Region of York and the creation of a Canadian special committee within the Alliance for Water Efficiency.

His generosity with his time for all of us in conservation, his dedicated service, his continued perseverance to bringing his Region into a leadership position on water efficiency and sustainable growth, and his indomitable yet cheerful spirit are all reasons we honor him with the AWE Water Star Award.