Celebrating Waterpower on June 20

Celebrating Waterpower on June 20

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This coming Monday, June 20, is annual Waterpower Day in the province of Ontario in Canada.

June 20th was selected in recognition of the birthday of Sir Adam Beck (born June 20, 1857), a Canadian politician and a man known as the father of hydroelectricity.

The date of June 20th as Waterpower Day in Ontario is established by law — Member of Provincial Parliament Michael Mantha introduced Bill 268, a Private Members Bill, in 2021, to declare June 20th Waterpower Day in Ontario.

Waterpower in Ontario

Less than three generations ago, waterpower generation served almost all of the electricity needs in the Canadian province of Ontario.

It was waterpower that fueled the economic development of the province and contributed to the quality of life we enjoy today.

Dozens of municipalities across Ontario have become Waterpower Champions – proclaiming June 20th Waterpower Day in their communities to recognize the many benefits waterpower provides. Countless towns and villages were first established where there was the ability to harness electricity from falling water.

Today, there are 224 operating facilities embedded in communities across the province. These facilities not only provide clean renewable energy, but, as recognized by the Ontario Minister of Energy, provide benefits such as recreation, flood control, tourism, economic development, and local employment.

Currently, there is 9,000 MW of waterpower in Ontario and the OWA has identified more than 5,000 MW of untapped potential. By 2030, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has identified that the province will need more than 6,000 MW of additional capacity.

New waterpower generation can help address the growing long-term electricity needs in Ontario and partnerships with local and Indigenous communities will be critical in advancing the expansion of waterpower.

Why Waterpower Day Matters

The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) established Waterpower Day to raise awareness of this affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy source and to reflect upon its history of more than a century.

Ontario has a long and proud waterpower history and an extremely bright energy future thanks to the natural abundance of waterpower in the province.

That is something worth celebrating, and there will be more celebration of hydropower here in the U.S on August 24th with National Hydropower Day. August 24th is a day to recognize and appreciate all of the benefits of hydropower in the U.S., so stay tuned for how to engage and celebrate National Hydropower Day!