Water Quantity Management Proposal - Share your comments on the government's proposal to enhance water taking rules in the province

Published on June 30, 2020

The government is taking action through our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan to protect lakes, waterways and groundwater supply in Ontario, now and for future generations. 

Ontarians can be confident that our water resources are protected by good processes and decisions based on solid science and evidence.  To further ensure our water resources are protected and used sustainably, the Province is seeking input on proposed enhancements to Ontario’s water taking program.     

These proposed enhancements include:

  • Requiring water bottling companies to have the support of their host municipalities for new and increasing bottled water takings, with an exemption for small businesses
  • Establishing priorities of water use in the province that can guide water taking decisions.
  • Assessing and managing multiple water takings together in areas of the province where water sustainability is a concern
  • Making water taking data available to the public to increase transparency of how Ontario manages water resources

Last fall, the government extended the moratorium for new and increasing bottled water takings so that we could complete our thorough review of the province’s water taking policies, programs, and science tools. This also gave us time to ask an independent third-party to review our findings so that we could be sure we got it right.  

The independent third-party review validated the ministry’s findings that water takings for bottling are managed sustainably in Ontario under existing legislation, regulation and guidance and that bottled water takings in Ontario are not impacting the sustainability of groundwater resources.

Ontarians can have the added confidence that the province’s programs, policies and science protect vital water supplies and ensure we have sustainable water resources now and into the future.

For additional information, please refer to water quantity management proposal posted on the Environmental Registry for public comment until August 2, 2020.