Ontario gives $10M to groundwater studies.

     TORONTO — Thirty-one Ontario communities will have better information to protect their drinking water resources thanks to a $10-million investment by the province in local groundwater studies, Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer said.

 The grants are being distributed to Ontario communities and conservation authorities as part of the largest single investment in groundwater resources in the province's history, the Ministry of the Environment said in a statement.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that everyone in this province has access to clean, safe drinking water," said Witmer. "By gaining a better understanding of our water supply, we can plan to protect and preserve it for the future."  The studies will map sensitive groundwater areas, survey how groundwater is used, and identify wellhead protection areas around municipal wells and potential contaminant sources, officials said.

 The information generated by these studies will help the communities develop local source protection measures.  This $10-million SuperBuild investment in groundwater studies builds on previous Ontario government investments in water source protection, including over $4.3 million to fund groundwater studies under the Provincial Water Protection Fund, and $6 million to establish the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network, the ministry said.  These initiatives are part of Operation Clean Water, the government's comprehensive strategy that was announced in August 2000 to focus province-wide efforts to improve water quality and water delivery in Ontario.

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Edited from Tech Bank 4/16/02