The City of Guelph is inviting residents to participate in one of two upcoming community forums during phase two of its Outside Water Use By-law review.
The first community forum takes place Wednesday, April 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, located at 683 Woolwich St. The second meeting will be Thursday, April 25 from 7-9 p.m. at the Victoria Park East Golf Club, located at 1096 Victoria Rd., South.
The business community is also invited to provide feedback during a business roundtable being held April 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Victoria Park East Golf Club.
The Outside Water Use By-law and program has been in place in Guelph for more than 10 years. During prolonged periods of drought in 2012, the City implemented enhanced water use restrictions under the By-law to ensure there was enough water to support both the needs of the City and the local environment. At the time, residents and businesses expressed some concern over aspects of the By-law, including permissible water uses during extreme periods of drought.
In response to those concerns, the City held two public meetings and one business roundtable in February to discuss successes, explore aspects of the By-law and program that are working well, and examine opportunities for refinement that could help the City better manage Guelph’s water resources.
The feedback received during phase one has helped staff frame a proposed revised by-law. Some of the proposed changes include:
• allowed dates and times for watering lawns and gardens in all program levels
• greater distinction between program levels
• increased enforcement and fines
For reference, a complete summary of public feedback received through phase one is available at guelph.ca/owureview.
To reflect the needs of the entire community, City staff hopes to hear from a variety of stakeholders during phase two. Residents and businesses owners will be given opportunities discuss the proposed changes, ask questions, and voice concerns and/or support.
Community members unable to attend the forums are encouraged to review materials online at guelph.ca/owureview and submit comments by May 10 through the online survey. Alternatively, comments may also be provided by email email@example.com, voicemail by calling 519-822-1260 x 2153, fax 519-822-8837 or mail to Outside Water Use By-law comments at 1 Carden Street, City Hall, Guelph ON N1H 3A1.
Feedback received from the community will be used to inform a draft version of the Outside Water Use By-law. The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft By-law in July with final recommendations anticipated to go before Council in September of this year.
About the Outside Water Use Program
The City’s Outside Water Use Program (OWUP) is one of the most successful and recognized water conservation programs in Ontario. The program aims to conserve Guelph’s groundwater supply and protect against the impact of drought during the summer months.