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Source Water Protection

Our Protection Region

Watershed Description

The South Georgian Bay-Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region contains four watersheds and spans over 10,000 km2, from the Oak Ridges Moraine in the south to the Canadian Shield in the north. The region contains portions of the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine, Oro Moraine, Peterborough Drumlin Fields, Simcoe Uplands and Lowlands and the Canadian Shield. The region contains fifty-two municipalities and three First Nations communities with over 200 municipal supply wells, 16 municipal surface water intakes, and more than 50,000 private wells. The region is very complex and diverse in terms of geology, physiology, population, and development pressures, with a multiplicity of existing water uses including drinking water supply, recreation, irrigation, agriculture, commercial and industrial uses, as well as ecosystem needs.

Preliminary Governance and Background

The White Paper on Watershed Based (see “White Paper on Watershed-based Source Protection Planning”, Ontario Ministry of the Environment at www.ene.gov.on.ca/programs/3585e01.pdf) recommended the formation of watershed regions for the purposes of Source Water Protection Planning (SWPP).

The Lake Simcoe Basin, Nottawasaga River, Severn Sound, and Black River watersheds comprise the local SWPP Region, as described above. The agencies within, and representing these watershed areas, have been working cooperatively to prepare for the SWPP initiative since 2004.

An Administrative Staff Team was established with representatives from the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, Severn Sound Environmental Association and Black-Severn River municipalities, to oversee the program during the formation of a Source Water Protection Planning Committee and Source Water Protection Planning Authorities. In addition, a Technical Working Group and Communications Working Group were also established to facilitate the technical and communications work related to SWPP.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, as the Lead Agency, manages the administrative and financial aspects of the program and oversees the work of the source water protection (SWP) project team, with input from the Administrative Staff Team.