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Source Water Protection Planning

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Presentation on theme: "Source Water Protection Planning"— Presentation transcript:

1 Source Water Protection Planning

2 What is Source Water / Protection?
Source water is untreated water from streams, lakes, rivers or underground aquifers that people use to supply private wells and public drinking water systems. Source water protection is simply protecting water sources such as lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater sources from contamination or overuse. So What is source water?? Source water is any reservoir that we utilize for drinking water – it can be rivers, lakes or groundwater, all of which are utilized in this watershed region for public water supply SWP then, is the collective effort to prevent overuse and or contamination of our water supplies

3 Human Health and Source Water Protection
Human health depends on clean water Threats to human health from contaminated drinking water still happen in Canada Conventional water treatment cannot remove many hazardous chemicals Protecting sources of water is essential to ensuring human health. While more prevalent in developing countries, threats to human health as a result of drinking water contamination also happen in Canada. Preventing contaminants from entering water sources is an effective way to ensure clean drinking water and prevent human disease. Conventional water treatment methods cannot effectively remove many hazardous chemicals.

4 Economic Health and Source Water Protection
The money put into protecting water generates economic growth – measured in terms of cost savings According to US EPA, remediating groundwater is 40 times more expensive than protecting it at its source Preventing contamination reduces cost of treating water Low water quantity can negatively impact power generation, manufacturing, trade While it costs money to protect water sources, the investment generates economic vitality and growth. Economic benefits of source water protection can be measured in terms of cost savings. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, remediating groundwater can be 40 times more expensive than protecting it at the source. Preventing contamination at the source also reduces the cost of treating water. There are also economic benefits associated with protecting water quantity. Changes in lake levels and river flows can have dramatic impacts on power generation, manufacturing and trade.

5 Who Manages Water Now? The Federal Government has direct responsibility for: navigation and fisheries water on federal lands (e.g. National Parks) water in the territories and on the reserves of Canada's aboriginal peoples boundary and trans-boundary waters The Provinces have the overarching responsibility for managing water within their boundaries. Shared federal-provincial responsibilities include: inter-provincial water issues agriculture significant national water issues health Within this Watershed Region there are 23 Municipalities with responsibility for delivery of water supply and wastewater treatment.

6 Who’s Responsible for Drinking Water Source Protection?
The above uses the conductor/orchestra metaphor Ministry of the Environment (Conductor) Overall lead and is accountable for Source Protection Drafts legislation Develops policy direction Funds source protection studies to support source protection plans Coordinates Ontario government approach Ministry of Natural Resources (Sheet Music) Supports and helps facilitate Ontario government approach to Source Protection Funds CA role in source protection planning Municipalities (Musicians) Develop growth strategies, water/wastewater infrastructure plans Develop land use planning/zoning strategies License on-site activities Conduct wellhead protection programs Source Protection Authorities (Instruments) Coordinate plan development and bring stakeholders together to form Source Protection Committees Maintain plan, monitor, report progress Provide technical info/advice to municipal and provincial agencies Provide education

7 Treatment Source Protection Testing Distribution Emergency Response
Let’s focus now on the process in our local context. The process being undertaken to protect our water is being led by people who live and work in our community, all of whom have an interest in making sure the water we drink is safe for us now and into the future. The people leading this process all belong to a local Source Protection Committee, charged with overseeing the development of plans to protect our drinking water. Distribution Emergency Response

8 The Source Protection Committee exists
to ensure an open approach is taken in the development of reasonable, science based policies that protect municipal sources of drinking water now and into the future.

9 The Source Protection Committee is supported by a team of administrative and technical staff and consultants.

10 Years 5 + Implementation Year 1 Foundation Years 3 – 5 Planning
Why do we need Source Protection Plans? Because of new legislation that came out of Justice Dennis O’Connor’s report in the wake of Walkerton, where it was determined that additional steps were needed to protect our drinking water. Out of this came the CWA and The Source Protection Planning Process, which looks like this: Year 1: Laying the Foundation - Establishment of Committee and Creation of Terms of Reference (Workplan) Years 1 & 2: Assessment of the Threats and Preparation of an Assessment Report Years 3 – 5: Prepare the Source Protection Plan including policies that address threats Years 5 +: Implement the Plan, Monitor (Inspect, Enforce), Review Years 1 & 2 Assessing the Threats

11 Source Protection Planning Process
Locally driven Science-based Emphasis on public engagement Emphasize the importance of the process - local people, coming up with plans based on science, an emphasis on communicating (engaging) the public

12 Locally Driven Locally Driven
Created 19 source protection regions, each with a mandate to develop plans for their local region This slide emphasizes the local nature of the process. We’re only interested in plans for our region

13 Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region
South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region Four watersheds Black-Severn Lake Simcoe Nottawasaga Severn Sound 52 municipalities 3 First Nations communities 320 municipal wells 17 surface water intakes This slide offers some background on our region

14 Surface water intakes Recharge areas Vulnerable aquifers Wellheads
Science Based: All our planning will be based on scientific studies an understanding the pathways to our water sources (how water moves through the ground, how much water we have, how much we’re currently using, will be using) Vulnerable aquifers Wellheads

15 Land use practices Pollution Water use
The science behind the process means also determining where there are threats… which come from a variety of sources. An inventory is being done on all potential threats in our source protection region. Water use

16 + High likelihood of travel = High level of risk
Significant threat + High likelihood of travel = High level of risk From these two sources, we come up with a risk assessment. Vulnerable areas and risks to drinking water will be identified in a Technical Assessment Report. The Source Protection Committee will then develop policies and strategies to prevent new risks from occurring and reduce existing risks. Significant threat + Low likelihood of travel = Low level of risk

17 Funding for Clean up Actions Personal Visits to Resident's Homes
Public Engagement Newspaper Advertisements Letters to Residents Chambers of Commerce Public Meetings Funding for Clean up Actions All through this process we’ve been consulting the public. What we’ve done so far: Letters to several thousand residents living near municipal sources of drinking water We’ve held numerous open houses and workshops about source water, the clean water act, to solicit spc members, to educate the public about funding opportunities, etc. (10 – spc formation, 6 – Education & Outreach, 4 - TOR, dozens of others to municipalities re the entire process, many more yet to come) We’ve advertised dozens of times in the paper to solicit spc members, get input into the process, invite to our events, get comments on TOR We’ve mailed out to residents, community centres, chambers of commerce, municipalities We’ve gone door to door talking to residents, leaving information materials behind if no one was home We have a website and have started a mailing list for those interested in staying informed about the process so we can be more personal in our approach with them We will continue to engage the public as we move forward and we encourage your input Newsletter Website Road Signs Personal Visits to Resident's Homes Workshops

18 For further information and your opportunity to provide input or be part of our distribution list, visit our website

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