Water is an essential element of everyday life, it is crucial that we do our part in preserving the quality and quantity of our water today and for the future! Drinking Water Source Protection ensures public health is safeguarded by protecting drinking water supplies. It is a preventive approach that is a cost-effective means of producing safe, clean drinking water, then just water treatment alone.
Drinking Water Source Protection began after the tragic events of Walkerton in 2000, where 7 people died and thousands became ill after drinking water contaminated with E-coli and bacteria. This event negatively affected vulnerable water sources, bringing change.
In 2006 the provincial government made a commitment to the citizens of Ontario by passing the Clean Water Act to protect the sources of drinking water supplies throughout Ontario. As part of the requirements of the Clean Water Act, the Trent Source Protection Plan came into effect January 1, 2015. The purpose of the Plan is to have policies in place, based on scientific rigor (i.e. Assessment Reports), that protect municipal sources of drinking water from contamination and overuse.
How the plan came to be?
The Trent Source Protection Plan was developed by a multi-stakeholder committee comprised of municipal, special interest groups, business sectors, and First Nations across the region known as the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Committee (TCC). The Trent Source Protection Plan includes five Conservation Authority areas; Lower Trent, Crowe Valley, Ganaraska Region, Kawartha Region, and Otonabee.
The goal of the Source Protection Plan is to manage or eliminate activities that are, or could be a significant threat to sources of drinking water (e.g. lakes, rivers, streams, etc.). In most circumstances, this allows individuals to carry out the activity that poses a risk to drinking water through sufficient management strategies.