Water Conservation Framework

Through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Water Conservation Framework, cities are working towards a 15 percent reduction in water use by 2015 below year 2000 water use levels.

In the spirit of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and Sustainable Water Resources Agreement, cities are urged to participate in the GLSLCI Water Conservation Framework.  The Framework is a voluntary program in which cities commit to reducing water use within their city limits.  Cities will work towards a 15 percent reduction in total water usage below year 2000 water consumption levels by the year 2015.  Reductions above or below the 15 percent target are fully appropriate.  Re-evaluation will take place in 2015 to determine an appropriate target reduction to achieve by the year 2025.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River represent about 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater supply and provide drinking water for more than 40 million United States and Canadian citizens within the Basin.  However, only one percent of the water in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence is renewed each year.  The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters sustain us and the natural world, and support our need for recreation, fishing, transportation, and power.

About the Framework

Recognizing that some cities already have water conservation programs and others do not, the Framework will consist of two groups of cities.  Group 1 will include cities that have water conservation plans in place and Group 2 will include cities that do not have water conservation plans, as of now.

The Framework allows cities to work together on water conservation.  This cooperation will be fostered through a focus on the dissemination and sharing of best practices and recognition on an annual basis for cities’ efforts to reduce water use.  The Framework is an opportunity for cities to take a unified and collaborative step to conserve the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence.

Past Water Conservation Framework (WCF) Reports