Source water protection (SWP) is the first line of defense for procurement of safe drinking water, emphasizing that water needs to be kept clean at its source, not just through treatment.
The last comprehensive review of source water protection planning happened in 2011. At the time, seven jurisdictions had dedicated source water protection programs that could create plans with legally-binding restrictions on activities: British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Of this list, only Manitoba, New Brunswick and Ontario mandated consultation in SWP planning and programs, and all three as well as Saskatchewan had dedicated funding for SWP. In 2011, four jurisdictions had varied levels of SWP planning including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon.
To note, while source water protection planning was enabled in Ontario under the Clean Water Act 2006, it has progressed considerably since the 2011 evaluation. Communities worked collaboratively on watershed-based plans and as of 2015/16, 22 plans were approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, covering over 450 drinking water systems. These are now in the implementation phase.
5-Year target: to update the baseline measure, including analysis on evaluation and implementation.
Last updated November 2017