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As a result of the Clean Water Act, communities in Ontario are required to develop source protection plans in order to protect their municipal sources of drinking water. These plans identify risks to local drinking water sources and develop strategies to reduce or eliminate these risks. Because it is everyone's responsibility to protect our water resources, broad consultation throughout the development of the source protection plans is important and involves municipalities, conservation authorities, property owners, farmers, industry, businesses, community groups, public health officials, and First Nations.
The County of Wellington is part of five Source Protection Regions: CTC (Credit Valley Conservation), Halton-Hamilton, Lake Erie (Grand River Conservation Authority), Ausable Bayfield Maitland (Maitland Valley Conservation Authority), and Saugeen Grey Sauble Northern Bruce Peninsula (Saugeen Conservation Authority). The source water protection regions are currently developing source water plans - the County of Wellington is developing policies for those parts of Wellington County in the Grand River watershed. A draft County policy approved for circulation by County Council in November 2011 is being revised and will be brought back to Council in May or June. Planning staff are reviewing the policies proposed by the other four Source Water Regions.
Wellington County is also working with the Guelph, Waterloo Region, Hamilton, Halton Region, and other surrounding communities that have protection areas for their water systems that fall within the boundaries of the County. While these water systems are owned/operated by our neighbouring municipalities, the protection of the water sources is the responsibility of the local municipalities of Wellington County.