What Is A Source Protection Plan?

The Source Protection Plan (SPP) is a strategy and suite of policies designed to protect municipal sources of drinking water from contamination and overuse. Developed by a multi-stakeholder committee made up of watershed residents, business leaders, and municipalities, an SPP outlines proactive measures that, when implemented, will safeguard  the water quality and quantity of municipal drinking water systems.

Under the Clean Water Act, 2006, each Source Protection Area in Ontario must develop a plan for keeping sources of drinking water clean and encouraging wise water use. A Source Protection Plan sets out policies to:

Safeguard Human Health

Ensure Adequate Safe, Clean Water Is Available

Protect Current and Future Sources of Municipal Drinking Water From Significant Threat Activities

A Source Protection Plan must have policies that address “significant drinking water threats,” and may also contain policies that address “low” and “moderate” drinking water threats. It specifies how the risk level of identified threats is to be reduced, and how future threats will be avoided.

A Source Protection Plan is about more than just the science of source water protection. It is, in large part, about the impact of land use on drinking water quality and quantity.