Groundwater is the source of daily drinking water for many thousands of people in the Rideau Valley. Groundwater is also one of the key parts of the amazing water cycle which cleans and recycles water across the watershed and around the world. Despite its importance to the human and natural world, groundwater is often taken for granted. Out of sight, out of mind. But there are stormclouds gathering on the horizon.
The Walkerton tragedy and numerous recent incidents of contaminated or degraded wells in our watershed remind us that taking groundwater for granted is dangerous. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, watershed municipalities and the RVCA are working to learn more about how our local groundwater systems work, how much water is there and how to protect it against threat of contamination.
Source Protection Planning and Groundwater Protection Plans are being produced across Eastern Ontario to protect our vital groundwater resources over the long term. RVCA is a partner in many of the ongoing studies. A big challenge ahead will be to educate and inform individuals and families of their own responsibilities for understanding and undertaking the care and maintenance required for their well, their private drinking water source.