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Helping Small Rural Communities Protect Drinking Water

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Helping Small Rural Communities Protect Drinking Water

Ontario Supports Action to Safeguard Drinking Water Sources

Ontario is strengthening the protection of local drinking water sources in small, rural municipalities.

Almost 200 municipalities will receive support to help carry out source water protection plans. These plans, which are developed locally, are an important part of Ontario's drinking water safety net and protect existing and future sources of drinking water.

Drinking water source protection planning was a recommendation of the O'Connor inquiry into the Walkerton tragedy. Seven people died and more than 2,000 became sick after consuming contaminated drinking water in the Town of Walkerton, in 2000.

Protecting our drinking water will enhance the quality of life for Ontario families and support sustainable communities now and into the future. This is part of the government's plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • 189 municipalities are eligible for grants ranging from $18,000 to $100,000. An additional incentive of up to $15,000 is available to municipalities that work together to implement source protection plans.
  • The province has already provided over $240 million for source protection planning.
  • There are 38 source protection areas, grouped into 19 regions. Each region developed a source protection plan.
  • Drinking water source protection planning was a recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Guarding against threats to our drinking water supplies is the purpose of source protection. With the help of our many partners on local Source Protection Committees, we are completing source-to-tap drinking water protection.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Environment

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy Government Rural and North