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Source Water Protection Planning
Water is critical to all aspects of our lives. Protecting the sources of our drinking water is important to ensure that there is enough safe water for all our uses - now and in the future. Source water protection is simply protecting water resources such as lakes and rivers, from contamination or overuse. The Clean Water Act provides a framework to protect Ontario's municipal sources of drinking water.
After the Walkerton tragedy, the Ontario government made a commitment to adopt a multi-barrier approach to protect drinking water. Although many Ontarians rely on water treatment to give them clean water, Justice Dennis O’Connor, who led the inquiry into the tragedy, concluded that protecting water at its sources is one of the most effective and efficient means of safeguarding this critical natural resource, calling it the “first line of defense”.
The Walkerton Inquiry concluded that protection of water resources must be done on a watershed basis. For administrative purposes, the Province has established watershed regions. The District Municipality of Muskoka is divided between two watershed regions. The southern portion of the District is part of the South Georgian Bay-Lake Simcoe Watershed Region encompassing the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, the Severn Sound Environmental Association and the Black-Severn River watersheds. The Muskoka River watershed is a separate watershed region.
For general information regarding source water protection, click here.