New Report Shows Gaps in Ontario’s Drinking Water Protection
Last month, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change released a report that evaluates how well its programs are doing at protecting drinking water, including the Great Lakes.
While most Ontarians enjoy access to safe and reliable drinking water—99.8 percent of municipal drinking water tests are meeting the standards—there are worrisome gaps that leave some residents vulnerable.
The most notable gap is the failure to ensure First Nations communities have clean water. Currently, there are 22 First Nation communities that have long-term drinking water advisories in place. The situation has been improving over time but effort needs to be accelerated. This is an unacceptable situation for a province with more than 250,000 lakes.
And while Ontario has an effective source water protection framework in place, it does not cover 98% of rural residents that rely on private wells or the 60% of residents that get their drinking water from the Great Lakes. We know from our work on algal blooms in Lake Erie, for instance, that there are threats to these drinking water sources that need additional protection.
Protecting drinking water is integral to all of Freshwater Future Canada’s work. From addressing algal blooms to protecting wetlands, we are always fighting for drinking water to be a top priority for everyone in this province. Join our list to find out how you can help.