Conservation Ontario, a non-profit association that represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, has released new resources for municipal councillors and staff on Ontario’s Drinking Water Source Protection Program.
The Drinking Water Source Protection Program was implemented pursuant to the Clean Water Act, 2006. It required conservation authorities to work with municipalities (and other stakeholders) to identify environmental threats to the sources of municipal drinking water and to develop Source Water Protection Plans (SWPP) to address these risks.
Municipal planning staff and councillors need to be familiar with their responsibilities under this regime because all official plans, by-laws, planning decisions and building permit approvals must conform with the significant threat policies in the applicable SWPP.
In addition, the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, also imposes a duty of care on municipal councillors who have oversight of municipally owned drinking water systems for the protection and safety of the users of the municipal drinking water system.