Water is critical to all aspects of our lives. We need to protect the sources of our drinking water to safeguard the health of Ontario residents and ensure there is enough water for everyone -- now and in the future.
Whether we live in an rural or urban area, our drinking water comes from lakes, rivers, streams or underground sources (aquifers) located across the province. All of these sources of water are linked in a watershed through the water cycle. Drinking water sources can be easily contaminated and have a limited tolerance for stress. Long term problems can develop that are costly or even impossible to correct.
In order to make sure we have enough clean water for drinking and other uses, we need to protect our sources of drinking water by managing the influences on them. The best way to protect these sources is on a watershed basis because water flows across municipal boundaries.
Drinking water is best protected by taking an approach that uses multiple barriers to prevent contamination from affecting our drinking water. Known as the multi-barrier approach, it includes:
To learn more about the Clean Water Act and source protection planning with the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region,
In 2000, the Walkerton tragedy showed us how vulnerable our drinking water can be when not managed properly. One key recommendation from the Walkerton Report was to use the multi-barrier approach, where source water protection is considered the first barrier to ensuring safe drinking water.
Lower Trent Conservation has partnered with four other Conservation Authorities in the region (Crowe Valley, Ganaraska Region, Kawartha Region and Otonabee) to start to develop an understanding of the sources of our drinking water. Under the umbrella of the Trent Conservation Coalition, we will be working with our municipalities, other stakeholders and the public to facilitate the development of plans that will serve to protect municipal drinking water supplies while taking into account the other needs of our communities.