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March 31, 2021
Changes to water taking program ensuring sustainability of surface and groundwater
TORONTO — The Ontario government is strengthening the protection of vital water resources with changes to the province’s water taking program. The changes include new rules that give municipalities more direct input on allowing bottled water companies to withdraw new or increased amounts of groundwater in their communities. To support the new changes, the province is also providing new guidance on managing water taking in areas where sustainability is a concern and where there are competing demands. This is a key commitment of the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
“After many years of public engagement and an extensive review of the province’s water taking policies, programs and science tools, we are taking steps to further protect this precious resource,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “With these new rules and guidance in place, people can be confident that these valuable water resources in the province are protected by strong policies and managed sustainably for future generations to come.”
The new changes to Ontario’s water taking program include:
The new rules apply to all permitted water users, including water bottlers, and will come into effect when the current bottled water moratorium ends on April 1, 2021. The moratorium on permits to take groundwater to produce bottled water was put place in 2016 so the government could review its water taking management framework and propose enhancements.
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