Ground Water Canada

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Ontario approves plan to protect sources of drinking water in Long Point-area watersheds


November 9, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

Long Point, Ont. – Ontario has approved a plan to protect sources of drinking water in the Long Point-area watersheds on the north shore of Lake Erie.

The source protection plan, developed by local municipal and community partners, will take effect July 1, 2016, the province said in a news release.

Source protection plans are locally developed, science-based plans designed to protect the health of the lakes, rivers and sources of underground water that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources.

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This approved plan is intended to help the area create management plans to help communities reduce the risks associated with certain waste disposal sites, manure, livestock, road salt, solvents, pesticides, fuel and commercial fertilizers; implement education and outreach programs that promote best management practices for the risks associated with manure and biosolids, fertilizers, pesticides, livestock, waste, sewage systems, and solvents; and monitor the implementation and effectiveness of targets and goals outlined in the plan.

Ontario has now approved 21 of 22 source water protection plans from areas across the province, and expects to approve the last plan by the end of the year. Together, the plans will cover areas where 95 per cent of the province’s population live. 

The Clean Water Act established 19 local committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address risks to the water that supply municipal drinking water systems.Ontario recently passed the Great Lakes Protection Act, building on existing Great Lakes partnerships for joint action to fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, protect wetlands and tackle other complex problems in the Great Lakes basin.

“Formal approval of the Long Point Region Plan to protect and enhance sources of drinking water is a milestone achieved through the committee’s collaborative work with its community, conservation authority, municipal and provincial partners,” said Wendy Wright Cascaden, the Lake Erie source protection committee’s acting chair. “We look forward to monitoring and measuring the plan’s success.”