The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is pleased to announce that Ontario has approved our plan to protect sources of drinking water in the Thames and Sydenham region.
The Thames-Sydenham and Region Source Protection Plan was developed by local municipal, First Nation and community partners and will take effect December 31, 2015.
Bob Bedggood, Chair of the Thames-Sydenham and Region Source Protection Committee, said, “The committee agreed early on that the plan would be fair and equitable to all of the region’s residents and based on sound science. We are confident that this plan will protect municipal sources of drinking water for future generations. We would also like to recognize those that helped to shape our decision-making, namely our municipalities, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, and Conservation Ontario.”
“The Thames-Sydenham and Region Source Protection Plan represents an enormous effort from all those involved,” said John Van Dorp, Agricultural Sector Representative for the local Source Protection Committee. “The plan development began in 2007 with the recruitment of 25 very dedicated committee members from across the region who represented our local population and economy.”
Committee member George Marr explained that, “Understanding our sources of municipal drinking water and how vulnerable those sources are to human activity is very important. For many significant threats, the committee chose to use a new tool, the Risk Management Plan, which allows a risk management official and the landowner to negotiate a risk reduction strategy.”
Provincial ministries, municipalities, and Conservation Authorities each have a role in implementing the Source Protection Plan. The Province will use existing approval mechanisms to ensure that risk is managed. Municipalities will use new tools to reduce risks to municipal drinking water sources. Risk Management Plans to be developed cooperatively between municipalities and landowners will require the use of established best management practices to reduce risks to drinking water sources. In areas adjacent to municipal wells, Risk Management Plans may cover activities such as the application, handling and storage of commercial fertilizers, manure and pesticides; handling and storage of fuel, organic solvents and dense non-aqueous liquids; farm-animal yards; and the storage of road salt.
The local Source Protection Plan will be reviewed in three years and updated if appropriate.
Chris Tasker, Source Protection Project Manager
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
(519) 451-2800 ext. 238
Bob Bedggood, Chair
Thames-Sydenham and Region Source Protection Committee