This water-taking management proposal is a great step forward for Ontario and timely given climate change and the increased need for water for human use and environmental maintenance.
My concerns include the need for expert staff to do the work to support the document. The cuts to the Ministry have hamstrung it and reduced its capacity.
The data sources are threatened as well. The original proposal called for release of data to make it available to the public. I do not see that here however. I also am concerned that the Conservation Authorities that do have expertise and experience in dealing with water on a watershed level are being cut to the bone. Where will reliable data come from and who will be doing the oversight? How can the Director make educated and informed decisions about water permits?
The ecological functions of water are important and are not respected. Wetlands, recharge areas, ground water, streams and rivers suffer when too much water is removed and not replaced. No one can know aquifer sustainability. That is why priorities need to be set and followed and enforced. We have had a wild west approach to precious water resources that puts us in a very vulnerable position especially if it is allowed to continue with commercial water bottlers, aggregate taking below the water table, pollution, and overuse.
This government has made some serious errors in the name of economic development ignoring long term effects on the environment. This cannot continue as we continue to degrade and destroy our heritage and environment. Those who fund a political party cannot have sway over something as precious as water!
Water permits for 5 years is better than for 10 and the ERO period of 45 days is fine. However, the transparency promises appear to have gone by the wayside. This needs to be returned so that some degree of oversight is possible!
Indigenous consent is in the responsibility of the Province as it ought to be. The definition of consent needs to be clarified. Ticking a box does not do it!
Submitted December 31, 2020 11:15 AM