New Water Soft Path Strategy Proposed for the Ontario Communities of Fergus and Elora



Towards Water Sustainability

The POLIS Water Sustainability Project, working with the Grand River Conservation Authority and Township of Centre Wellington, has developed a proposed water soft path strategy for the Ontario communities of Fergus and Elora as part of its water soft path pilot project program. The detailed analysis and action plan outlines specific steps the community can take to achieve water sustainability over the next 30 years.


Focus on Efficiency and Conservation

In Fergus-Elora, population and water use are expected to double between 2008 and 2040. The region is dependent on groundwater and if no conservation measures are taken the existing groundwater supply will likely require expansion by 2028.

Water soft paths offer solutions that work within ecological limits and promote community and citizen involvement in water management. The new water soft path strategy for Fergus-Elora outlines approaches that focus on both efficiency and conservation.

The recommended approach for Fergus-Elora is to “use the same water tomorrow we use today,” which accommodates all future population and economic growth to 2040, and beyond, using the same amount of water used in 2008.


An Alternative Component of Master Plan

The new soft path strategy will be considered as an alternative component of the Township of Centre Wellington’s formal Water Servicing Master Plan for the Towns of Fergus and Elora. In addition, the Grand River Conservation Authority is in the process of developing a more general, long-term Water Management Plan for the Grand River watershed. Water soft path planning will also be considered as a component of this plan, offered as a “tool” that municipalities can use to address long-term water supply concerns.

The strategy was developed as part of the WSP’s national, water soft path pilot project program and as part of the Action H20 initiative in partnership with Sierra Club Canada, which is supported by the Royal Bank of Canada Blue Water Project. The project was initiated by the Grand River Conservation Authority in partnership with the Township of Centre Wellington, the Elora Environment Centre, and the University of Waterloo. It received support from the Government of Ontario's Drinking Water Stewardship Program and was written by Carol Maas, Innovation and Technology Director, and Susanne Porter-Bopp, Community Water Coordinator at the POLIS WSP.

To download the soft path strategy, technical appendices, and a GRCA water use survey for the towns of Fergus and Elora, please click here.


Posted July 2011