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For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2003

Year of Freshwater Proclaimed by Regional Council

(Brampton) - Following an official launch by the United Nations (UN), Regional Council has proclaimed 2003 as the Year of Freshwater in the Region of Peel. The aim of the year is to raise awareness of the essential importance of freshwater resources for satisfying basic human needs, for health and food production and for the preservation of ecosystems.

"The Region of Peel recognizes the importance of preserving and protecting our water sources and adopting efficient water practices as freshwater is essential to all living things," said Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "The overall objective behind the proclamation is to educate residents and to encourage wise water use."

According to the World Health Organization, less than one per cent of the world's freshwater (0.007 per cent of all the water on Earth) is readily available for human world consumption, giving reason to ensure water is not wasted, polluted or misused.

"The International Year of Freshwater in Peel will assist us in communicating to residents about the importance of freshwater," said Commissioner of Public Works Mitch Zamojc. "Effective coordination and communication of existing programs is a matter of implementing what we already know and not attempting to reinvent the wheel."

In celebration of the Year of Freshwater, the Region of Peel will continue to promote education programs that foster community involvement. The Region of Peel is a committed partner in developing communication programs aimed at educating residents on the efficient and effective use of water.

"We have already begun working on a long-term water strategy," said Director of Water and Wastewater Treatment Mark Schiller. "The strategy aims to reduce the overall water consumption and the Year of Freshwater is an ideal time to focus on water wise programs."

Existing Regional water programs that support the Year of Freshwater are: Peel Children's Water Festival, community and school Outreach Programs, Public Works Week and Earth Week.

New initiatives planned for the 2003 freshwater celebration include: Water treatment plant tours and World Water Day Events.

To get involved in water efficiency today, try keeping a pitcher of water in your refrigerator to keep it cold. This is better than running the tap until the water gets cold.

For more information on water efficiency programs, please contact Lesley Radman at 905-791-7800, Ext. 4481 or visit the Region's Web site at www.region.peel.on.ca.

Anne DeCraemer
Public Affairs Associate
Communication Services
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 4842

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9 Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail



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