Every drop of municipal drinking water within our source protection area will be even safer to drink, now that a plan to protect the province’s water sources has been approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. The plan offers an extra layer of protection for quality, sustainable drinking water for the more than seven million people who rely on it every day.
Spearheaded by the CTC Source Protection Committee – made up of the Chair and 21 members representing municipalities, businesses and the public who live or work in our region, extensive studies and exhaustive consultation were conducted with both municipalities and the public to develop the most comprehensive plan of its kind ever produced in Ontario.
“This is a proud day for our committee, with the approval of our plan,” CTC Source Protection Committee Chair Susan Self said. “We have worked collaboratively to develop policies to protect drinking water sources for the people who depend on municipal water.”
The approval of the CTC Source Protection Plan is an important step which takes both water quality and quantity into account – water drawn from both municipal wells and Lake Ontario.
“This is a significant milestone for the protection of safe, high quality drinking water in the CTC region,” Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO of Credit Valley Conservation said. “The Source Protection Plan is the result of collaborative work with public health and safety as the focus.”
Currently, more than 98% of the population in the CTC region depends on Lake Ontario as a source of drinking water. And while we’re lucky to have such an abundant source of high quality water, it is vulnerable to spills of contaminants. For those who depend on rural wells, water quantity issues can occur during prolonged droughts or as the population increases.
“This plan ensures clean, safe drinking water is available for everyone in the CTC region now and for years to come,” Brian Denney, TRCA CEO said. “We’re proud of the work done together and that our vision is shared by the Province.”
Originally submitted to the Province in 2012, the plan went through numerous comments and revisions with participating municipalities to ensure additional policies were developed to address new drinking water availability threats identified in Halton Hills and York Region. The amended plan was submitted to the Minister for approval on Dec. 15, 2014.
“The Source Protection Plan includes a suite of policies based on science with a goal of safeguarding our sources of municipal drinking water,” Chris Darling, CAO, Central Lake Ontario Conservation said. “We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts toward implementation of the policies.”
The Source Protection Plan directs municipalities, provincial ministries and other agencies to adopt specific policies or include the plan in legal decision-making to protect sources of municipal drinking water. Landowners, businesses and farmers are responsible for complying with the policies and specific actions as directed through the plan.
The approved Source Protection Plan takes effect on Dec. 31, 2015.
For more information: visit www.ctcswp.ca
Toronto and Region Conservation