WaterWise @ YVR – Water Reduction Success through Strong Business Partnerships

Improving water efficiency is a cornerstone of the Vancouver Airport Authority’s Environmental Management Plan. With a study showing where water is used most as our guide, YVR has been delivering reduction programs and retrofitting most of our terminal washroom and kitchen fixtures for several years with great success. But achieving our goals cannot be done alone; our collective journey also involves businesses on Sea Island driving water conservation efforts within their facilities and operations.

Our water reduction success comes from simple beginnings. It all started in 2016 when we began to work closely with a number of Sea Island businesses to help them better understand their water impact through audits. These investigations were crucial for determining how much and where water was being used, as well as identifying the greatest opportunities for improving water efficiency. These investigations also provided the perfect foundation for us to start building strong relationships with businesses and find other ways to support each other.

Over time, the water conservation work we have accomplished with businesses led to them undertake additional water reduction projects on their own. With a bit of support from the Airport Authority, businesses like Air Canada, Gate Gourmet and Purolator have taken great initiative to upgrade many of their washroom fixtures to newer, more water-efficient models – a total of 149 fixtures including toilets, urinals and faucets to be exact. These upgrades have achieved over 11,000,000 litres in cumulative water savings, which is equivalent to filling over 90,000 bathtubs!

The Airport Authority has also been working with tenants to upgrade existing water fixtures in older Airport Authority-owned buildings across Sea Island. Most recently, we retrofitted six continuous flush urinals and replaced nine toilets in the WestJet Hangar and Swissport Ground Support Equipment Complex. We anticipate the water savings from this project will start to flow at the end of this year!

Working in partnership with these companies has been critical in developing our water conservation momentum. There are a growing number of water conservation champions at YVR and we continue to work with businesses to explore opportunities to reduce our impact.