Ontario continues to be a North American leader in providing clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to Ontarians, reads a press release from the Minister of Environment John Wilkinson’s office.

The Minister’s Annual Report on Drinking Water 2011 says the province is making progress in cleaning up its Great Lakes. Lake Erie’s Wheatley Harbour was removed as an Area of Concern and Lake Superior’s Jackfish Bay was changed from an Area of Concern to an Area in Recovery.

The report also claims that the health of Lake Simcoe is improving. “I am pleased to report that we have addressed all the commitments made for the first year of implementing the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan and are moving forward on the second year targets,” reads Wilkinson’s report. “We are on track to have 85 per cent of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan policies implemented by the end of summer 2011.”

The report references the Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report 2009 – 2010, which claims that 99.88 per cent of water quality tests from municipal residential drinking water systems met Ontario’s standards.

On the First Nations file, the report discusses movement toward source water protection. Three First Nations communities have passed a Band Council Resolution to have their drinking water sources protected under the source protection planning process: Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River and the Rama First Nation, and the Alderville First Nation received funding to better facilitate their participation in the source protection planning process, including activities such as reviewing assessment reports and source protection plans, and consulting with elders in the community regarding source protection planning activities.

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With regard to the new Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act, the report uses a quotation from one of Water Canada’s selection committee members from an article from our Water’s Next 2011 publication: “Visionary legislation—forward-thinking in its support of technology development and comprehensive in its approach to conservation.” See watersnext.ca for more info about 2012.

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