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March 13, 2014 3:08 PM

Conestoga team takes top prize in national water conservation competition

A team of students from Conestoga’s Environmental Engineering graduate certificate program has been awarded first prize in Canada’s Most Water Wise School Competition hosted by the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH).

The announcement was made in Toronto on Tuesday, March 11 in recognition of World Plumbing Day, an international event that highlights the importance of access to clean drinking water and sufficient sanitation as well as the essential role the plumbing industry plays in keeping people safe and healthy.

The Most Water Wise School competition challenged teams of engineering, business or environmental studies students from Canada’s colleges and universities to identify action plans to decrease their school’s water footprint. Participating schools included Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Mount Royal University and Holland College as well as Conestoga.

Each team was required to submit a case study on how their school could use and conserve water more wisely, addressing such factors as:

  • Capital investment required to render the site more efficient
  • Annual water savings anticipated as a result of implementation
  • Real estate impact
  • Materials to be used
  • Intended social impacts
  • Return on investment

    Students were also required to submit an infographic and video to accompany their submissions, which were judged by a panel of industry experts.

    Conestoga’s team included students Santina Alagia, Zeshan Anjum, Andrew Joseph, Dan Marshall, Kristina Taylor and Numair Khan Uppal along with faculty advisors Dave Farish and Coby Lamarche. Their submission focused on reducing annual water consumption at the college’s Doon campus. According to their proposal, the implementation of their recommendations would result in savings of more than $70,000 during an academic school year, or an average of 22,000 cubic metres of water over eight months. The full submission is available online at http://www.ciph.com/en/waterwiseschool

    According to the judges’ panel, the Conestoga submission stood out in terms of technical considerations, social impact and cost-recovery of proposed initiatives. The team will share a $3,000 prize in recognition of their top-place finish.

    Second place was awarded to a team from the University of Ottawa, which received $1,000 for their proposal addressing the application of greywater reuse concepts for one of the university’s sports complexes.

    According to CIPH Chairman Robert Whitty, the calibre of submissions received in the first-ever Most Water Wise School Competition “demonstrates that tomorrow’s leaders understand the need for water conservation and innovative ways to reduce their school’s hydro footprint.”

    Based on the success of the inaugural event, CIPH officials plan to sponsor the interdisciplinary case study competition on an annual basis.

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