Ontario Approves 22 Local Source Water Protection Plans
Outstanding Local Efforts Protect Municipal Drinking Water
Ontario's comprehensive approach to protect drinking water reached a milestone this month when the province approved the 22nd and final source water protection plan, covering more than 450 municipal drinking water systems across Ontario.
Source water protection plans are locally developed, science-based plans designed to protect the health of lakes, rivers and underground water sources that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources and Ontario is among the few jurisdictions in Canada to have source water protection plans in place. They are an important part of Ontario's approach to protect drinking water from source to tap, preventing potential issues before problems occur.
Local committees in 19 regions worked with the public, conservation authorities, First Nations, municipalities and the province to understand and come up with the most effective ways to protect water sources. Approving all 22 plans fulfils Ontario's public commitment to have the plans approved by the end of 2015.
Protecting drinking water now and in the future is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The Clean Water Act established 19 local source water protection committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address risks to the water sources that supply municipal drinking water systems.
- Source water protection is part of a broad suite of actions the government has taken to protect drinking water following the tragedy in Walkerton that took seven lives and affected thousands of people.
- The province has supported local source water protection planning with a $200-million investment. Actions in many source water protection plans support the Great Lakes Protection Act by building on existing Great Lakes partnerships for joint action to reduce harmful algal blooms and tackle other complex problems in the Great Lakes basin.
“Protecting drinking water sources is the foundation of Ontario’s drinking water safety net. Local source water protection committees around the province have worked tirelessly to help keep our lakes, rivers and streams safe. Their contributions will help ensure that our tap water is among the best protected in the world.”