WaterSmart Toolkit

This page gathers together, in one location, a number of practical WSP publications and resources that focus on community water conservation. Collectively, these make up the POLIS WaterSmart Toolkit. The Toolkit was developed to provide a "one-stop shop" to help support communities as they transition from supply-side management to long-term integrated water conservation planning. Please browse the links listed below, as well as the publications listed in the "Related Resources" sidebar. For further information, contact Laura Brandes.

Water Conservation Planning Guide

Our Water Conservation Planning Guide for British Columbia Communities (2009) seeks to enhance local government capacity for effective water conservation planning by summarizing core research on water-wise strategies and practices in an easy-to-use guidebook.

Whether you know a little or a lot about water conservation, this guidebook is designed to help users develop a water conservation plan using a step-by-step process.

Each step includes case studies on topical issues, a handy to-do list, and additional resources that begin to demonstrate the full potential of the water soft path approach.

WaterSmart Scenario Builder: Soft Path Water Analysis Tool

The WaterSmart Scenario Builder (2010) is a spreadsheet-based calculator that allows users to explore the potential for water and greenhouse gas emissions savings through the application of water efficiency and conservation measures.

The Scenario Builder is designed to develop and test various future water scenarios using a backcasting framework. This calculator is not intended to replace a detailed conservation audit or water efficiency plan. Instead, it can assist communities with doing a preliminary evaluation of various water conservation and target-setting scenarios.

Water Soft Path Pilot Projects

The WSP's national soft path pilot project program supports communities in moving away from supply-side solutions towards a more sustainable approach to water management. The WSP team works with community leaders and local governments to develop tailored soft path strategies. By working directly with local leaders, communities are involved in the process of determining what their water future will ultimately look like.

WSP research demonstrates that a soft path approach to designing and implementating a water conservation plan can reduce water use by one-third to one-half using existing off-the-shelf technologies and programs. Our goal is to show that notable savings are achievable and, importantly, that water sustainability is a real possibility.

The following soft path pilot project reports serve as examples and can offer inspiration to other communities that may be considering a more sustainable approach to water management:

Walking the Water Soft Path: York Region Water Strategy Puts Theory into Practic (2012)

A Soft Path Strategy for Fergus-Elora, Ontario (2011)

A Soft Path Strategy for Salt Spring Island, B.C. (2010)

Soft Path for Water Strategy for the Abbotsford/Mission Water and Sewer Commission (2009)

A New Path to Water Sustainability for the Town of Oliver, B.C. (2007)

Water Sustainability Charter

The Water Sustainability Charter (2010) offers a framework for communities to address local water visions and unique management concerns while contributing to a broader national and international effort to begin addressing the looming global water crisis. The Charter strives to improve dialogue between water managers and water users and emphasizes a participatory approach to water management.

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