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Assignment 3 Revised

Assignment 3 Revised

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Published by Tim Shah
This paper deals with water management challenges and policy implications facing the City of Guelph located in Southern Ontario. In my role as a policy analyst for the city, I have outlined a comprehensive process to deal with the challenges and opportunities over the next few years including identifying fundamental objectives and performance measures to monitor these objectives. Four alternatives were generated and compared using a weighted decision criteria; this helped determine the importance of the relative alternatives. Finally, I conclude with a tradeoffs section which allows for the policy analyst to assess the relative merits of different alternatives.
This paper deals with water management challenges and policy implications facing the City of Guelph located in Southern Ontario. In my role as a policy analyst for the city, I have outlined a comprehensive process to deal with the challenges and opportunities over the next few years including identifying fundamental objectives and performance measures to monitor these objectives. Four alternatives were generated and compared using a weighted decision criteria; this helped determine the importance of the relative alternatives. Finally, I conclude with a tradeoffs section which allows for the policy analyst to assess the relative merits of different alternatives.

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Published by: Tim Shah on Jan 17, 2011
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Tim ShahDecember 11
th
, 20101
PLAN 548T-
DECISION INSIGHTS FOR PLANNING AND POLICY ANALYSIS
ASSIGNMENT 3
A Policy Analysis of Guelph’s Water Management problem
 
Prepared for
: Professor Hadi Dowlatabadi
 Introduction
This paper deals with water management challenges and policy implications facing the City of Guelph located in Southern Ontario. In my role as a policy analyst for the city, I have outlined acomprehensive process to deal with the challenges and opportunities over the next few yearsincluding identifying fundamental objectives and performance measures to monitor theseobjectives. Four alternatives were generated and compared using a weighted decision criteria;this helped determine the importance of the relative alternatives. Finally, I conclude with atradeoffs section which allows for the policy analyst to assess the relative merits of differentalternatives.
Background
I am a policy analyst for the City of Guelph, Ontario. Our city has a population of 115,000people and we have experienced a number of water droughts over the past 6 months.Hydrologists are predicting more severe water droughts in the coming two years and havecautioned the city about the need to conserve its groundwater aquifer. The city draws 90 percentof its water from the local aquifer and 10 percent is imported from neighbouring municipalities.In spite of a water metering program, the average daily water demand in the residential sectorhas been increasing since 2006.With increased population growth, more single-family dwellings have been constructed. Thesingle-family dwellings generally have larger lots. Water department statistics indicate that therehas been an increase in water demand from the household residential sector. This has placed
more pressure on the city’s aquifer. In 2005, the cit
y decided to construct an additional waterreservoir to increase water supply to meet the growing demand for water resources. Academicsat the University of Guelph recently wrote in to City Council arguing that funding should havebeen allocated to demand-side management programs that encourage direct water conservation. Ihave learned that among many of the issues that have led to this major challenge, the failure tocurb peak demand through appropriate prices has directly led into pressures to overbuild watersupply networks.
As an analyst, I would like to find a sustainable policy solution to Guelph’s water challenges.
The outcome of this decision can be significant in terms of water conservation implications for
 
Tim ShahDecember 11
th
, 20102
the city. Therefore, it is really important that I carefully explore my options. I have to make awater policy recommendation to City Council based on this analysis. The recommendation istargeted toward the residential sector for two reasons. 1) They are the largest consumers of wateramong water users. 2) With a creative approach, residents can be engaged in water managementand learn how their impact on the aquifer can be minimized. I have learned from hydrologiststhat if current consumption trends continue, the aquifer can be severely depleted within 5 years.This means that water tables would drop making withdrawals more difficult and expensive.Thus, I must set out my objectives and evaluate a list of alternatives. The alternative will beselected based on how well it meets the objectives and whether it can be accomplished within afive-year time frame.
Table 1. Residential Water Consumption from 2006 to 2009
Note: Canada and the United States use the most water per capita than any other country in the world. Indeed,citizens use 343 litres and 382 litres per day, respectively, nearly 1.5 times more than the EU and at least 20 timesmore than much of the developing world (Ferguson-Martin & Shah, 2010). 300 litres per capita per day isconsidered very high based on the literature reviewed (Brandes et al. 2006).
The table above indicates that the city is growing mostly in the form of single family residentialhousing through sub-division construction.
 
New single family homes are larger suburbandevelopments with large gardens/pools. This rate of increase in the per capita water use can beindicative of a change in use patterns (or leaks). Hydrologists have explained to me that newsingle family home development also increase impervious surface cover (roads, paved surfacesetc) which reduces the amount of water that percolates into groundwater.
1
 
1
In the hydrologic cycle, groundwater moves downward through the soil by
 percolation
and then toward a streamchannel or large body of water as seepage. The water table separates the zone of saturation from the zone of aeration(Environment Canada, 2010).
ResidentialSector (waterconsumption)
2006 Population100,0002007 Population104,0002008 Population110,0002009 Population115,000Single FamilyResidential300 litres percapita per day310 litres percapita per day320 litres percapita per day328 litres percapita per day
Total for year
(population xper capita waterconsumption30,000,000 litres 32,240,000 litres 35,200,000 litres 37,720,000 litres
 
Tim ShahDecember 11
th
, 20103
Fundamental Objectives
I have identified the problem and have outlined the context for the decision to be made. Next, Iwill outline my fundamental objectives. Using fundamental objectives are important forevaluating and comparing alternatives (Hammond et al. 2002).
1)
 
“Minimize water demand on the aquifer”
 
The means to achieve this objective include promoting water conservation in household
water activities and highlighting the vulnerability of the city’s aquifer to residential water 
users.
2)
 
“Engage society in the water conservation process”
 
The means to achieve this objective include providing information and resources toresidents about water resources. In addition, encouraging residents to be active waterstewards and embracing their ideas and suggestions with regards to water conservationwould also help to achieve this objective.
3)
 
“Maximize economic efficiency”
 
The means to achieve this objective include promoting efficient use of water inhouseholds, minimizing leaks in water infrastructure and strengthening ties withbusinesses which provide water efficient technology. The water efficient technologyshould be available to all residents at an affordable price.
4)
 
“Promote and maintain a good quality of life”
 
The means to achieve this objective include promoting a culture of conservation andstrengthening community cohesion through an environment of water stewardship.
Performance measures to achieve objectives
I have identified four relevant strategies to achieve the objectives as outlined below. Thesestrategies will be evaluated over a 5 year time period.1)
 
Minimize water demand on the aquifer
 
Water usage drops from 300 to 150 litres per capita/day
2
 
 
Imported water rate drops from 10 to 5 percent
2
A Water Conservation Study in the City of Guelph identified how full participation in water conservation programscan reduce residential single family demand from 230 litres per capita per day (lcpd) to 153 lcpd. Thus, I am basingthe water usage reduction target on the study. However, I am slightly more ambitious.

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