Hockey Goes 'Water-Neutral' at Stanley Cup

The 2011 Stanley Cup Final will be the first-ever "water-neutral" series in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL).

NHL’s Water Restoration Project will track all the water used during the finals and buy Bonneville Environmental Foundation Water Restoration Certificates for every drop – from faucets to ice rink.

The Bonneville Water Restoration Certificate program, created  in 2009, is the first national, market-based program that restores flow to deteriorating fresh water resources in the US.

NHL’s certificates will restore a minimum of a million gallons of water to Oregon’s Deschutes River, replenishing a "scenic gem" in an ecosystem that’s running dry. 

They will pay water rights holders to leave the water in the river, providing an economic incentive for them to restore stream flow instead of diverting it for "beneficial economic uses" as they do now. 

Disruptions in stream flow degrade habitats, result in poor water quality and negatively impact the overall health of the river. 

"This commitment to match water used on the ice and in the arena with an equal amount restored to a critically dewatered river represents a cutting edge commitment to sustainability," says Todd Reeve, Vice President of Watershed Programs, Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Bonneville is working with the Deschutes River Conservancy, which facilitates negotiations with local water rights holders and manages stream flow restoration projects in the Deschutes basin.

The program has been certified by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to ensure water is returned in ways that provide the greatest environmental benefit to rivers, streams, fish and wildlife.

Earlier this year, NHL purchased Renewable Energy Certificates from Bonneville which will support new renewable energy facilities. They purchased the certificates to offset energy use at the 2011 NHL Winter Classic and NHL All-Star Games.

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