January 1, 2018: Ban On Air Conditioners Using Drinking Water


As of January 1, 2018, industrial and commercial air-conditioning units using city water will be strictly prohibited in Montreal. If your building uses such equipment, you’ll need to replace it before this deadline, or expose your business to penalties.

This new regulation follows the implementation, in 2011, of the Stratégie québécoise d’économie d’eau potable (SQEEP), which aims to put an end to the abusive consumption of this essential resource in the province’s various municipalities. Since the introduction of the SQEEP, towns such as Lanoraie, Schefferville and Tadoussac have adopted bylaws enabling them to achieve the objectives targeted by the government. Montreal is following in the footsteps of many municipalities concerned about preserving drinking water for future generations.

Billions of liters of water wasted every year

As you know, air conditioners connected to the city’s aqueduct are extremely water consuming. Each unit consumes an average of 3,000 liters per hour, or no less than 26 million liters annually! By comparison, a 24-foot above-ground swimming pool contains 50,000 liters of water. To counter this waste, it is now the responsibility of all building owners and managers to ensure that they opt for more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Alternative cooling technologies

  • Replace water-cooled equipment with an air-cooled system
  • Install a cooling tower to which air conditioners can be connected
  • Equip your air-conditioning units with a water recirculation loop or any other system enabling water to be recovered for use in industrial processes

Need more information?

Would you like to benefit from our expertise to comply worry-free with the new regulations taking effect on January 1, 2018? Don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact form or by phone at 514 422-0444.