The Council of the Township of Centre Wellington has approved a resolution requesting that Ontario extend the province-wide moratorium on commercial water bottling until January 1st, 2023 in light of the approaching end date of January 1st, 2019.
If the province-wide moratorium is not extended, Centre Wellington is asking the province to enact a moratorium on water bottling until January 1st, 2023 within the township’s municipal boundaries. The purpose of either the province-wide or township-specific moratoriums is to allow for completion of the Township’s Water Supply Master Plan; the Scoped Tier 3 Water Budget Quantity Risk Assessment and subsequent amendments to the Grand River Source Protection Plan; and, the province’s review of, and decision on, the Water Management Policy and Science Framework Review.
“Recognizing permits to take water are solely within the jurisdiction of the Ontario Ministry of Environment & Climate Change, the Township has played a very active role in protecting our water, including an ambitious attempt to purchase Middlebrook Well, significant provincial lobbying efforts, an extensive long-term water master plan and three Council resolutions,” said Centre Wellington Mayor Kelly Linton. “Our goal remains the same: that our community will always have a sufficient supply of safe, reliable drinking water.”
At the expiration of the provincial moratorium on January 1st, 2019, though significant progress will have been made towards completing the Centre Wellington Scoped Tier 3 Water Budget and the township’s Water Supply Master Plan, both studies will not be complete. Additionally, the province has begun but not finished an overall review of water management policy and science frameworks. Initial consultations on these frameworks have included the possibility of prioritization of municipal use in terms of water use.
Factors leading up to the creation of a resolution are as follows:
- The Township of Centre Wellington is projected to grow to a serviced population of 45,000 persons by 2041 as outlined in the Provincial Places to Grow, the County Official Plan and the Township of Centre Wellington Growth Management Strategy;
- Township of Centre Wellington supports a science-based approach to the management of water resources and is working with the Grand River Conservation Authority and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on a Scoped Tier 3 Water Budget under the Clean Water Act;
- The Scoped Tier 3 Water Budget Quantity Risk Assessment pursuant to the Clean Water Act is not anticipated to be completed until after January 1st, 2019;
- The Township of Centre Wellington has initiated a Water Supply Master Plan in 2018 to determine the community’s water supply needs to service planned population and employment growth;
- The Township’s Water Supply Master Plan pursuant to the Environmental Assessment Act, is not anticipated to be complete until after January 1st, 2019;
- The Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, is undergoing a Water Management Policy and Science Framework review which is considering the prioritization of municipal water supply over other uses.
“Since 2015, Council has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to taking real action to safeguard Centre Wellington’s water resources,” said Mayor Linton.
The resolution was also distributed to the municipalities and Source Protection Authorities identified as Water Quantity and Water Bottling Study Areas, including Norfolk, Whitemans Creek, Guelph, Orangeville, Innisfil, Oro, Chapleau, and Quinte study areas. A copy of the resolution is attached.