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Source Water Protection

Protecting Our Drinking Water

The provincial government made a commitment to the citizens of Ontario to develop strategies to safeguard municipal sources of drinking water by passing the Clean Water Act, 2006 into legislation.
The Clean Water Act, 2006 encompasses 19 drinking water source protection areas and regions under the jurisdiction of Ontario’s thirty-six Conservation Authorities. The focus of the legislation is the preparation of locally developed, science-based assessment reports and source protection plans.
View more information about Ontario's Source Protection program.
View the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks interactive Source Protection Information Atlas.

Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Area

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Area includes the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Township of Prince and Sault North Planning Board. Water flows across administrative boundaries, so the best approach for planning for the protection of those sources is on a watershed basis.
Where there are only minor differences between the Source Protection Area boundary and the existing conservation authority boundary the members of the Source Protection Authority are the same as the Conservation Authority Board.

Why Is Water Important?

Water, it’s the one resource every living thing on our planet depends on to live.

In today’s society water is critical for transportation, recreation, industry, agriculture, energy, domestic and personal use. Most importantly we depend on it as a source for safe clean drinking water. 

Drinking Water Source Protection is the first step in a multi-barrier approach to protecting our sources of drinking water before they become contaminated. Conventional water treatment removes many potential contaminants that could result in illness and even death; however, preventing contamination is a much more effective way of ensuring clean drinking water and avoiding serious health issues. The majority of people affected most seriously by water related illnesses are very young children and the elderly. Water related illnesses can include CholeraE coli, and Cryptosporidiosis.


On a tragic day in May 2000, the death of seven people and illness of 2300 others in Walkerton set in motion events that would change the way we viewed the right to safe, clean drinking water.

Led by Justice Dennis O’Connor, a provincial inquiry into the water supply systems in Ontario was launched. The inquiry resulted in two reports along with 121 recommendations. At the forefront of these findings was the recommendation from Justice O’Connor that a multi-barrier approach to preventing contamination of drinking water should be implemented. Drinking Water source Protection Planning is the first barrier in the multi-barrier approach which also includes: water treatment systems, distribution, testing and drinking water.



This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario.
Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.