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Source Water Protection

Studies Indicate Potential Water Quantity Stress

May 26, 2009

NEWMARKET – Lynn Dollin, Chair of the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe (SGBLS) Source Protection Committee, has announced the release of the first two reports in a series on the quantitative health of the region’s water supplies.

The two reports, entitled “Tier 1 Water Budget" and "Water Quantity Stress Assessment” compare simple estimates of available water supply to water demand in sub-watersheds within the Lake Simcoe and Nottawasaga River basins. The studies represent a preliminary effort to identify those areas that are potentially stressed due to water quantity issues. The South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe (SGBLS) Source Protection Committee has endorsed the findings of these reports.

The Tier 1 Reports indicate that out of 27 sub-watersheds, eight within the larger Lake Simcoe watershed and four within the Nottawasaga Valley watershed are potentially stressed and will require further study. Potentially stressed watersheds are those where groundwater consumption exceeds 10 per cent of available supply and where there is a municipal drinking water system. In addition, a potentially stressed watershed could be the result of a low groundwater level within a municipal well that prohibits the normal operation of that well.

According to Don Goodyear, Project Manager, “because we've used conservative estimations of supply and consumption for this exercise, and the results have been reviewed by an outside panel of experts, we're confident that those areas potentially under stress and therefore in need of further investigation have been identified. In order to confirm the results from this preliminary work, a more in-depth study called a Tier 2 assessment will be carried out.”

This release is to inform area landowners and interested stakeholders that these studies are taking place, and that water quantity stresses may be confirmed in parts of the watershed region. Where water quantity or water quality issues are confirmed, the local Source Protection Committee will be making recommendations to address them in Source Protection Plans. These recommendations could have implications for landowners and water users.

Opportunities to review and comment on the technical work and planning recommendations will occur regularly over the next few years, and the committee will be providing opportunities for your input throughout the process.

The South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee's mission is 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.

Contact:
Don Goodyear
Project Manager
905 895-1281 ext 246
d.goodyear@lsrca.on.ca

or

Susan Jagminas
Communications Specialist
905 895-1281 ext 264
s.jagminas@lsrca.on.ca