Water scarcity awareness initiative gains support of Canada utility

EDMONTON, AB, Canada, March 19, 2010 -- As part of its effort to increase the public's understanding of water scarcity issues in Canada, EPCOR Utilities Inc. will give its support to the United Nations' Water for Life program...

EDMONTON, AB, Canada, March 19, 2010 -- As part of its effort to increase the public's understanding of water scarcity issues in Canada, EPCOR Utilities Inc. will give its support to the United Nations' Water for Life program.

For the next three years, the Canadian arm of the program will be called the EPCOR Chair in support of the United Nations' Water for Life Decade of Action initiative in Canada.

"Growing populations, heavy agricultural and industrial withdrawals, and climate change effects on water supply will make it necessary to manage water in far more efficient ways in the future," said Bob Sandford, Director of the Western Watersheds Climate Research Collaborative, who currently holds the chair.

"EPCOR is taking a significant leadership role by thinking about these water issues on a national scale, staying on top of changing hydrological trends and investing in research to plan for Canada's future water interests," said Sandford. "By supporting research and by bringing international examples to bear on our circumstance, we can help Canada avoid water scarcity so that it does not limit our social and economic future."

EPCOR's support will help advance new research initiatives and analysis that will link research outcomes to practical and timely public policy options. Sandford will also focus on reaching and educating more people about the Canadian Partnership Initiative on the United Nations Water for Life Decade and its goals.

"We are pleased to support the United Nations' Water for Life effort in Canada because EPCOR is committed to creating holistic water solutions which will protect the watershed and to finding innovative reuse opportunities to reduce fresh water consumption," said Joe Gysel, EPCOR Senior Vice-President Water Development. "For instance, in lieu of fresh water, EPCOR currently moves up to 15 million litres per day of membrane-treated wastewater from our Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant for industrial purposes. This use of treated wastewater replaces the need for fresh water for industrial processes, with a net benefit to the North Saskatchewan River."

EPCOR is a member of a number of initiatives to protect water resources in Alberta, including the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, which is mandated to protect and improve the viability of aquatic ecosystems. For more information on EPCOR's water protection efforts, check www.epcor.ca.

About EPCOR Utilities Inc.
EPCOR's wholly owned subsidiaries build, own and operate electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, is an Alberta Top 50 employer. EPCOR's website is www.epcor.ca

###

More in Drinking Water