Source Water Protection Planning for Rural Communities in Ontario

Source Water Protection Planning for Rural Communities in Ontario


This research work will explore theories that are utilized in regional source water supremacy as well as a partnership to appraise if the water of origin fortification preparation which is below Clean Water Act in Ontario offers effectual prospect where authorities and stakeholder are permitted to effort jointly and meeting the foundation fortification arrangement. In fact, this investigation will be relevant in the understanding of the viability for the regional watershed governance approaches mainly for the source water administration. The outcomes from the research will aid the planners and the policy makers to make improvements on the design of source water management course. In a broad sense, the research will have to consider various impacts that are related to the inter-jurisdiction regional plan in connection to the source of water management and the source of water protection and offer recommendation for resource fortification arrangement strategy and exploration in the city of Ontario.



Generally, watershed management has been highlighted as one of the most complex environmental governance challenges. The aspect of caring the supply and quality of water has been a worldwide matter which was introduced by global agenda in 1992 at the Earth Summit (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002). In addition, the issue has been addressed by the OECD noting the fact that catastrophe with water has been an administration challenge and not a shortage predicament. Moreover, the watershed administration has been an inherent complex issue and has been experienced in various political authorities (Hill, et al 2008). However, to achieve some degree of sustainability, watershed planning program requires certain specified plans that are aimed towards integration of systematic approach to the water policies as well as other factors that impact the social, cultural, economics and environmental policies. The integration, in this case, would incorporate the multilevel process of ascendancy advance and inter-jurisdiction verdict creation process, completion and enforcement (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002).

In provinces such as Ontario, the Clean Water Act of 2006 was developed with the aim of generating an integrated science-based approach that was set towards protection of drinking water sources. In general, the Act was set towards reaction to the Walkerton inquest which was formed following the Walkerton contamination in 2000. In the case, unhygienic water caused at least seven deaths while many were severely sick (Hill, et al 2008). Due to this issue, the province of Ontario made a decision towards approaching the source water protection with the utilization of “Multi-barrier” technique which was incorporating strict water source protection as well as strict water management of the water at the main source.

Conversely, the Clean Water Act was mandating a multiple-level authority where all legislative body from industries, public, farming and other connected metropolis come collectively to develop the Source Protection Plan (SPP) based on a watershed root. In the Southern parts of Ontario, the Source Protection Committees (SPC) have been well assisted by other connected conservation governances or the Source Protection Authority (SPA). Currently, the Act is in its tenth year and large parts of the water protection plan, implementation and enforcement have been executed (Hill, et al 2008).

Mission and Objectives

It is very crucial when it comes to the issue of watershed collaboration that every stakeholder during the decision-making process has a clear understanding of the mission and objectives underlying the collaboration (Hill, et al 2008). A coalition in such as the case may be described as an association of institutes that are functioning closely mutually with an ordinary rationale. In general, watershed stakeholders have been recognized for their capacity to have great commitment level to the processes that are anticipated to result in clear and measurable outcomes. As set out in literature, the capacity to have a common vision tends to bring the community together within the realm of the consensus-driven decision-making process (Prudham, 2004).

A successful watershed management process tends to incorporate clear expressed objectives with a defined understanding of the needs. Different stakeholders are expected to possess the common understanding of the issues with consideration of the problem and issues that are aimed to be addressed. However, goals of the stakeholders in the watershed organization may not be the same but they must be set towards solving the same issue (Hill, et al 2008). In addition, the actual way to attain the objective may be developed around strategic directions with the mandate that are agreed during all stages of collaborations.

 Characters and Tasks

In Ontario province, the administration has various roles that are related to the role policy design for the water resources as well as supplies. In this case, all municipalities in the province are compulsory expected to endorse regional legislation and integrate the overarching province authorizations in the provincial bureaucrat tactics and the by-laws. Hence, SWP arrangement which is executed beneath the CWA has been developed by Ontario administration which targets to ensure that it is the most bottom-up process (Prudham, 2004).

The process had to incorporate the stakeholders in the municipalities, conservation authorities, agriculture, general public and industries. Such approach was noted to be relevant with the current trend within water management which considered customary pinnacle downward form of the fundamental administration which was being reinstated by the most funny arrangement of ascendancy (Hill, et al 2008). Actually, the involvement of the Ontario government in the act integrated setting of rules and appreciative of the phrases set on orientation, appraisal of the statements and SPP’s that are developed by SPC’s (De Loe, Krewtzwiser & Neufeld, 2005).

Areas that are set under CWA-SWP are areas that are related to conservation governance jurisdiction. In Southern Ontario, there are thirty-six Conservation Authorities (CA). Where there are CA’s, it tends to be delegated as the Source Protection Authority. Within the province, CAs are anticipated to toil closely with the metropolis with an aim of initiating the SPCs. CAs on the other hand, are expected to operate as systematic clouds and offer industrial and administration prop up that is required by SPCs with the aim of responding to the rural conditions and developing partnerships aimed to address the challenges (Prudham, 2004). CA has a major role of appointing the SPC. It is a must that, SPC’s members to contain a third municipal sector, a third commercial, industry or agriculture and a third from professional, academic, NGOs or the public. The person to chair the committee is appointed by the Minister of Environment (Hill, et al 2008).

On the other hand, municipalities are expected to act as local experts where they are supposed to share data related to their own sources protection areas which are part of the rural arrangement and wellhead cover and water management. In fact, metropolises have the responsibilities of implementing and enforcing the SPPs since municipalities have the control on land usage planning, water supply, and wastewater treatment. For instance, municipalities may have roles of enforcing certain conditions related to development applications which are provision for the approval (Prudham, 2004). This has to be done through the process of hiring jeopardy administration representative and must adhere to the entire regulation set forth under SPP created for crucial threats that incorporate regulations by local official plans and by-laws. Actually, a noteworthy hazard has been clearly definite under “Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 287/07 (General) and Director’s Assessment Report: Technical Report: Technical Rules” (Hill, et al 2008). Under the rules, Ontario province has highlighted activities that may be regarded as risky and underneath what conditions. Under the “Table of Drinking Water Threats, which is set as the mechanical policy document, it has been obviously explained that, depending on the position of the risk to community intake, where risk may be essential whether low or moderate (Ivey, De Loe & Kreutzwiser, 2006).

As well, municipalities have the alternative of delegating the enforcement influence to the panel of wellbeing and preparation or the SPA. In relation to the action that is undertaken, some of the municipalities make operational or infrastructural changes aimed towards protection of source water as consideration of upgrading the wastewater plants, reduction of road saline and humanizing and restoring the outdated water infrastructures. In another metropolis such as the York County, jeopardy supervision personnel have been working appropriately (Crabbé & Robin, 2006).

Impact of the issue to the Public

It may be worth to note that, Ontario province has the most and well-funded and determined program aimed towards protection of spring water. Ontario province regular for treating water, standards, trying and exposure have been sturdy and cannot be compared with any other Canadian authorities (Prudham, 2004). In general, CWA offers opportunities for the multi-barrier foundation of water fortification advance which is anticipated to diminish the cost of treating water. In general, the source protection planning process has been designated with an aim of addressing public health concerns and other broader environmental challenges such as habitat contamination and pollution. In case planners and the SPCs remains creative, there is the potentiality of SPPs linking terrain utilize preparation with the aspect of water administration and creating crucial optimistic ecological changes (Hill, et al 2008).

The incorporated advance towards the foundation fortification preparation procedure via multi-level and parallel supremacy procedure has been a source of holistic advance that has been illustrated as best practice by global water administration initiatives such as the “Global Water Partnership,” (Hill, et al 2008). Despite this, it is significant not to consider the incorporated watershed organization as a distinct matter related to the use of land arrangement. It may be noted that the CWA organization has tried to recognize home community need, especially on the ecological defined regional scale. Moreover, verdict creation program which is beneath CWA tends to be complicated, but if enacted effectively, enforcement and consensus of regional SPPs may take place (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002).

To aid in dealing with issues related to financial limits in municipalities, MOE introduced the “Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program” that has been funding schemes all over the province which comprises infrastructure, operational and educational ventures aimed at improving enactment of CWA. The program has been significant in the promotion or prior actions and placing priorities to aid the communities and other communities situated outside the SPA (Hill, et al 2008).

The Ontario government has stated that “Local communities are best positioned to decide what proactive measures are needed and how best to carry them out.”  In general, the CWA is likely to come up with exact place SPP that are considered as local and regional triumphant. It has been considerate that the shift would hearten numerous stakeholders’ harmony and the communal contribution which foster “society possession” of watershed confronts and resolutions. Largely, the CWA has been in a position to add other protections that focus on issues of healthiness and sustainable source of water protection that has boundless probabilities of good management of the environment and benefits to the Ontario residents (Ferreyra, de Loe & Kreutzwiser, 2008).

Challenges Associated with the Clean Water Act in Ontario

Enforcement and implementation of the SPPs beneath the CWA can have consideration of responsibilities undertaken by the home metropolis. Despite this situation, it is indisputable that there exist stakeholders on the municipal, sink, country and within the worldwide levels. In general, watershed management in the province has been based upon, “… the interplay of multiple legitimate perspectives and problem definitions, grounded in the wide range of stakeholder values, worldviews and histories found in increasingly pluralistic and fragmented societies,” (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002). It is factual that management of water is difficult since one watershed health largely depends on upon interdependencies across various policies and among distinct levels of authorities (Hill, et al 2008).

Challenges that are associated with the act are that the municipalities or the authorities that have been delegated by municipalities are supposed to implement and implement SPPs. The implementation within community echelon involves inter-municipal conformity and certain crucial quantity of “buy in” by the SPP within the municipal level. There are no specified tools that are provided to the municipalities aimed towards assisting in planning in the watershed that are based on authorities. As well, coordination among the methods of regulation and no regulation tool for the source water protection tend to be different among the municipalities due to the capacity and access. To execute capacity building, technical, financial, political, social and institutional efforts are required (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002).

In general, the source water protection planning progression tends to place strains to individual municipality technical, human resources and financial. Many municipalities have always been re-engineering and revising the existing plans and the infrastructure which has been challenging for the countryside metropolis where it is rigid to hoist capital for assessing resources and maintain opinionated obligations. In addition, distinct municipalities tend to have anecdotal quality on consumption water resources and diversified menaces to the obtainable and the potential water sources where they may not be in line with extra municipalities within the equivalent division (Hill, et al 2008).

Moreover, incorporated water administration tactics do not convene necessitates of all the stakeholders. In fact, what seems to create intelligence from environmental or the water art perspective may possess little or no validity to the local level, in situations where features such as communal disagreement and limited political opinions are applied. In fact, the Act has largely relied upon the land owners mainly the farmers for better implementation. Due to the request made by the farmers to have consistent legislation related to nutrient administration, Ontario administration and Ontario Farm Environmental Coalition has attempted to deal with matters of accomplishment of hygienic water metric in line with Nutrient Management Act (NMA). The Coalition has been a significant role in the creation of programs that are related to the nutrient management such as Environmental Farm Plan (DE LOË, Di Giantomasso & Kreutzwiser, 2002).


The underlying reality is that watershed management has been an extremely challenging issue that covers struggle among the political, economic necessities, individual healthiness, and ecological safety. This study was apprehensive with examining the greatest practice of source water planning collaboration and how to efficiently decipher the best practice to practices and legislation. Greatest observe, or topics that have been investigated in the research work include operations and purposes, functions and errands, challenges of clean water Act. In the discussion, it has been found that the themes are interrelated. It is significant to have watershed collaborations in the situation of facilitation and encouragement of certain themes by the top or bottom level actors. Watershed process planning has been recognized as a challenging issue but quite relevant.


Crabbé, P., & Robin, M. (2006). Institutional adaptation of water resource infrastructures to climate change in Eastern Ontario. Climatic Change, 78(1), 103-133.

DE LOË, R. C., Di Giantomasso, S. E., & Kreutzwiser, R. D. (2002). Local capacity for groundwater protection in Ontario. Environmental Management, 29(2), 217-233.

De Loe, R. C., Krewtzwiser, R. D., & Neufeld, D. (2005). Local groundwater source protection in Ontario and the Provincial Water Protection Fund. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 30(2), 129-144.

Ferreyra, C., de Loe, R. C., & Kreutzwiser, R. D. (2008). Imagined communities, contested watersheds: challenges to integrated water resources management in agricultural areas. Journal of rural studies, 24(3), 304-321.

Hill, C., Furlong, K., Bakker, K., & Cohen, A. (2008). Harmonization versus subsidiarity in water governance: A review of water governance and legislation in the Canadian provinces and territories. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 33(4), 315-332.

Ivey, J. L., De Loe, R. C., & Kreutzwiser, R. D. (2006). Planning for source water protection in Ontario. Applied Geography, 26(3), 192-209.

Prudham, S. (2004). Poisoning the well: neoliberalism and the contamination of municipal water in Walkerton, Ontario. Geoforum, 35(3), 343-359.

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