North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority

15 Janey Avenue
North Bay, Ontario
P1C 1N1

Phone: (705) 474-5420
Fax: (705) 474-9793

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Project Overview
Drinking Water Source Protection

The Clean Water Act requires that all of Ontario's present and future sources of municipal drinking water, including inland lakes, rivers, groundwater and the Great Lakes, are protected through a watershed based source protection plan. The planning process began in 2005 with capacity building and the majority of Plans were submitted in August 2012. Stakeholder input and public consultation played a significant part throughout the process to ensure the development of a plan that makes sense at a local level. The planning process and the technical work behind it was funded 100% by the Province of Ontario.

Development and Approval of the Source Protection Plan (2011 - Current)

Once the Assessment Report was approved by the Minister of the Environment, the Source Protection Committee (SPC) began work on the local Source Protection Plan. The Source Protection Plan defines policies that will reduce or eliminate the risk of contamination within the vulnerable area around each water intake or municipal well. Extensive consultation on the SP Plan was undertaken to ensure that the policies could be readily implemented and would not cause undue hardship.

The Source Protection Plan was approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on March 5, 2015 and takes effect July 1, 2015.  Municipalities are now in the process of implementing the SP Plan policies through their own official plans and bylaws. They will also be working to improve public understanding of activities that could pose a threat. Other bodies will implement the policies they are responsible for through existing regulatory frameworks identified in the SP Plan.

You can view the SP Plan and Explanatory Document here:


Assessment Report (2010 - Current)

In 2010, the SPC completed the first draft Assessment Report based on the findings of the watershed characterization and the technical studies conducted for each municipal water system. The Assessment Report outlines the key characteristics of the region's watersheds. It then goes on to identify vulnerable areas close to municipal water sources and activities that could pose a threat in those areas

The Assessment Report is a living document and has been updated several times prior to its most recent approval by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on February 10, 2015.  You can view the Assessment Report and a summary of its updates here:

Formation of the Source Protection Committee (2007)

Following the proclamation of the Clean Water Act and regulations, a local Committee Chair was selected and the Source Protection Committee (SPC) was formed. The Committee is comprised of local representatives from municipalities, industry, agriculture and the general public. The SPC was responsible for developing the Terms of Reference which governed their planning process and laid out planning roles and responsibilities. Formal public consultation on the Terms of Reference was required before approval.

Gathering of scientific information and development of maps and communication tools (2006 - 2011, and ongoing as required)

From 2006 to 2011, the project team at the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority worked to identify vulnerable areas, inventory threats and draft the watershed characterization and assessment report. Intake protection zones and wellhead protection areas (which are the areas of focus for the plan) were identified for the five municipal systems. The identification of significant threats within those areas was key to supporting the later policy development work of the SPC. Local working groups provided input throughout the process.

Capacity Building (2005 - 2006)

The first task was defining the extent of the North Bay-Mattawa Source Protection Region and establishing the local project team. The focus of these early years was on building capacity and assessing the existing scientific data and knowledge on the region's source water.