Source Water Protection

Source water is essentially the water we rely on for drinking. Protecting source water protects our health and watershed health—what happens up stream, affects those downstream. Water is critical to all aspects of our lives, and protecting our water sources is important to ensure that there is enough safe water for all our uses, now and in the future. 

Protecting our drinking water sources is a key provincial government initiative intended to safeguard public health. Source water protection is protecting our water resources from contamination or overuse. We get our drinking water from surface water sources (lakes, rivers, streams) and groundwater sources (aquifers). These sources can be easily contaminated or impacted from a number of different influences

To ensure that we have enough clean water for drinking and other uses, we need to protect our water sources by managing the influences on them. As water flows in its watershed across the varied landscapes and through communities, it is influenced by both natural and human activities within the particular area it travels. Since water flows within watershed areas and the flow is not restricted by particular municipal or other administrative boundaries, the best way to manage influences on water is on a watershed basis. Conservation Authorities are the only watershed management agencies in Ontario that are organized on a watershed basis. 

Conservation authorities coordinate the development of source water protection plans and provide technical expertise and advice. Source water protection plans are management strategies designed to minimize negative impacts, from human and natural influences, on the quality and quantity of water. Since it is everyone’s responsibility to protect our water resources, it is important to consult broadly and involve municipalities, property owners, farmers, industry, businesses, community groups, public health officials, and First Nations when developing source water protection plans. 

Conservation Halton Source Water Protection

Conservation Halton works in partnership with Hamilton Conservation Authority to address the provincial source water protection initiative. The Conservation Halton/Hamilton Conservation Authority source protection team members work together to develop and coordinate the source water protection plan for their combined watershed region, which includes most of Halton, Hamilton, and parts of Peel and Wellington County.

More Information


Information sessions were held on January 13 and 20, 2022. Please view the recording of the January 20 video here: