Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

"Clean Water, Green Jobs," Canadian Water and Wastewater Association," December 19, 2008.

[Actually this proposal was jointly produced by the Polis Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association. Each website is worth checking out in its own right. Thanks to Moe Lyons for this. -jlt]

A 21st Century Approach
Many experts and organizations are calling for infrastructure investments to stimulate the Canadian economy, including specific attention to water and wastewater infrastructure. We agree with the need to invest in water and wastewater infrastructure. However, there is a risk that through efforts to resuscitate the economy, resources will simply be poured into the creation of traditional, expensive and energy-intensive pipelines, pumps, and plants. Fueling this outdated approach to water infrastructure will create new debt for future generations, increase pressure on freshwater ecosystems, and increase Canada's public health care costs and carbon emissions.

We propose an alternative approach that has the potential to make Canada a global leader in 21st century solutions to water infrastructure problems. These solutions can be deployed quickly and broadly, creating jobs and stimulating the economy much faster than traditional water infrastructure projects. They include: repairing and upgrading existing built infrastructure, restoring green infrastructure, and spurring new technology and innovation in water efficiency. This approach will create jobs in the near term, save Canadians money in the long-term, protect and enhance public health and the environment, and put Canada ahead of the pack in the global market in developing new water technologies.

  Create a Green Infrastructure Fund to assist municipalities and First Nations in implementing strategies to reduce water use, leakage, wastewater and stormwater discharges through green infrastructure and innovative stormwater management, such as permeable pavement, green roofs, urban wetlands and stream restoration.

Read the whole proposal here => (PDF, 7pp)
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