January 23, 2006

Funds will support conservation authority studies leading to better water protection

WINDSOR, ONT-The Ontario government is providing funds to help the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) ensure that it has the staff and resources to work with communities to develop source protection plans. Environment Minister Laurel Broten last week presented a cheque for $245,405 to ERCA officials as part of the province's five-year commitment, made last November, to provide $67.5 million to local communities to help them be better prepared to protect their drinking water sources. "This funding is allowing us to do studies that will be the basis for a comprehensive system of water protection in our region," said ERCA chair Tom Wilson. The funding commitment was followed up in December by the introduction of Ontario's Clean Water Act. If passed, it would ensure that communities are able to determine potential risks to their drinking water supplies and take action to reduce or eliminate these risks. Municipalities, conservation authorities, landowners, farmers, industry, community groups and the public would all work together to meet common goals.

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