Council approves resolution to Province of Ontario for extension on the province-wide moratorium on Commercial Water Bottling

Posted On Thursday July 05, 2018

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Council approved a resolution, requesting that the Province of Ontario extend the province-wide moratorium on commercial water bottling until January 1, 2023 in light of the approaching end date of January 1, 2019. If the province-wide moratorium is not extended, Council is asking the Province enact a moratorium on water bottling until January 1, 2023 within the Township of Centre Wellington 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.

On January 1, 2019, the Provincial moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by water bottling companies will expire. Although significant progress has 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 by January 1, 2019. 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 1, 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 1, 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.” states Mayor Kelly Linton. “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. Our goal remains the same – that our community will always have a sufficient supply of safe, reliable drinking water.”

Along with requesting the Province to continue and complete the Water Management Policy and Science Framework Review including the prioritization of municipal water supplies over other uses, Council directed staff to continue to work closely with Ted Arnott, Member of Provincial Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, to lobby the newly elected provincial government on the importance of completing the ongoing Scoped Tier 3 Water Budget, Water Supply Master Plan, and Water Management Policy and Science Review as well as the Township's request to extend the Province's bottled water moratorium until January 1, 2023.

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.

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For more information:

Kendra Martin | Communications Coordinator

Township of Centre Wellington | 1 MacDonald Square, Elora, ON N0B 1S0
519.846.9691 x220 centrewellington.ca
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