Ontario provides $67.5M to help communities prepare source water protection plans
TORONTO, ONT-The Ontario government will provide $67.5 million in funding to help local communities prepare plans to protect their drinking water sources. This is in addition to more than $12.5 million provided last year to enable conservation authorities across the province to undertake technical studies. The new allocations include: $51 million over five years for technical studies to municipalities and others to help them map watersheds, analyze water quality and quantity in watersheds, and determine potential threats; and $16.5 million for conservation authorities over the next year to ensure they have the staff and resources to work with communities to develop source protection plans. This will enable the completion of water budgets as well as basic groundwater and more advanced studies to pinpoint areas that need to be protected. The information will help local communities determine what they need to do to protect their water supply. Protecting sources of drinking water was a key recommendation of the Walkerton inquiry, and the province has committed to requiring the preparation of source protection plans for every watershed in Ontario. Water protection planning is already underway in many areas.