October 17, 2022

New StoryMap takes deep dive into region's vulnerable drinking water

For more information, contact:

  • Marika Livingston
  • Project Manager, MRSPR
  • 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1148

EASTERN ONTARIO, Oct. 17, 2022 – The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region (MRSPR) has released an interactive StoryMap exploring threats to our region’s highly vulnerable aquifers – and what we can do about them. 

Readers of all backgrounds and interest levels can use the new StoryMap to explore risks to groundwater through its digital maps, charts and photos.
“Whether you’re interested in the geology behind our groundwater system, the impacts of contamination on your family or what you can do about it, our new StoryMap offers a choose-your-own-adventure to explore a huge range of information,” said Rideau Valley Conservation Authority groundwater scientist Claire Milloy, who wrote and designed the digital product on behalf of the MRSPR. 

About 90% of drinking water aquifers across the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds are considered highly vulnerable to contamination. These aquifers have very little protection from surface soils, which are necessary to filter chemicals, nutrients and other pollutants out of surface runoff as it trickles down from above. 

Cracks in the exposed bedrock can allow contaminants from industrial, agricultural and residential activities to easily enter the groundwater below - and they're sometimes impossible to clean up.  

The StoryMap and its accompanying resources were developed in accordance with an MRSPR policy encouraging groundwater threat awareness.  
The education package also includes a series of “action sheets” highlighting best practices for homes and businesses, a three-part animated video series developed by the Spring Ridge Training Institute, and an extensive scientific bibliography intended for scientists, researchers, planners and engineers. 
“We sincerely hope these resources will help shed some much-needed light on the risks facing our local groundwater supplies,” said Milloy, P. Geo. “It only takes a few minutes to contaminate an aquifer, but it can take hundreds of years to undo the damage – if it can be undone at all.” 
The 8,500 km2 MRSPR is one of 19 in Ontario created under the Clean Water Act of 2006, which now operate through local conservation authorities. The MRSPR encompasses the watersheds of the Mississippi and Rideau rivers, and is jointly administered by the Rideau Valley and Mississippi Valley conservation authorities as well as a multi-stakeholder Source Protection Committee.  
To learn more about highly vulnerable aquifers visit



Learn more about RVCA programs and services, news, events and more

Media Release Archives

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario