The Credit Valley, Toronto and Region, and Central Lake Ontario (CTC) Source Protection Committee has submitted a plan to the Ontario Minister of the Environment with policy concepts to reduce threats to drinking water in the region.
Released in October 2012 under the title “Proposed Source Protection Plan: CTC Source Protection Region”, the document is the culmination of five years of research by the CTC Source Protection Committee.
Comprised of representatives from the public, municipalities and local industries, the committee developed scientific assessment reports that show areas vulnerable to contamination, such as wellhead protection areas, and locations for intake and groundwater recharge.
The assessment also determined what kind of activities could be threats to drinking water, such as waste disposal sites and farming areas.
“The policies use a number of different tools to ensure protection of drinking water: land use planning, risk management plans, and, in some cases, prohibition to name a few,” the CTC Source Protection Committee wrote in an October 29, 2012 announcement about the proposal. “Municipalities and provincial ministries will be primarily responsible for implementing policies.”
Using the results of the analysis in the assessment reports, the Source Protection Committee was required to develop policies that will reduce the threat level of activities deemed "significant". Consultation was conducted at each stage, including a number of public meetings held throughout the Region.
The CTC Source Protection Committee says that protection of drinking water sources stems from the contamination of drinking water in Walkerton, Ontario in 2000, when seven people died and thousands became ill.
The subsequent commission from Walkerton was lead by Justice Denis O'Connor. It recommended protection plans be developed for drinking water sources around the province. Ontario responded with the Clean Water Act, 2006 to push drinking water source protection into law.
The CTC Source Protection Committee says “the premise of source water protection is to protect water sources before they become contaminated.”