Source Water Protection
Protecting water at its source is a crucial first step in Ontario’s approach to delivering safe drinking water. After the tragic events of 2000 in Walkerton, the Province took strong action to ensure municipal drinking water is among the best protected in the world.
Drinking Water Source Protection is a multi-barrier approach to protect sources of municipal drinking water from contamination and overuse. Source water is untreated water taken from lakes, rivers and aquifers for drinking. The Clean Water Act ensures communities protect their municipal drinking water sources through prevention – by developing collaborative, watershed-based source protection plans that are locally driven and based on science.
Under the Clean Water Act, 19 Source Protection Regions were established. Locally, the Crowe Valley, Ganaraska Region, Kawartha, Lower Trent and Otonabee Conservation Authorities have entered into a partnership to form the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region.
Under the Clean Water Act, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority also became the Ganaraska Region Source Protection Area, and the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority Board became the Ganaraska Region Source Protection Authority Board.
The process undertaken to develop the Ganaraska Assessment Report and Ganaraska Source Protection Plan was led by the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Committee in conjunction with local municipalities, the conservation/source protection authority, provincial ministries, non-governmental agencies and the public.
The Ganaraska Source Protection Plan contains policies that protect existing and future drinking water sources by reducing or eliminating significant threats to the source of municipal drinking water. On January 1, 2015 the Ganaraska Source Protection Plan came into effect and policy implementation is well underway.
The local municipal drinking water systems that are addressed by the
Ganaraska Source Protection Plan include:
- Camborne Municipal Drinking Water System
- Creighton Heights Municipal Drinking Water System
- Orono Municipal Drinking Water System
Lake Ontario source
- Cobourg Municipal Drinking Water System
- Newcastle Municipal Drinking Water System
- Port Hope Municipal Drinking Water System
Approximately 70% of the population in the Ganaraska Region Source Protection Area (43,321 people) obtain their drinking water from these six municipal residential drinking water systems.
We all have a role to play in caring for our water. If we want clean water tomorrow, we need to protect our sources of water today.