Wellington Water Watchers calls for Source Water Protection Features within Wellington County to be included in an expanded Greenbelt
“Protect Our Water”
For immediate release
December 7, 2017
Guelph – Wellington Water Watchers (WWW), as part of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA), is pleased to see the announcement today from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs regarding the proposed study area for potential Greenbelt expansion. It is essential to have this important public consultation to ensure our voices here in Wellington County are heard. Within our county, the Paris-Galt Moraine, the Orangeville Moraine, green lands along our river corridors and significant wetlands - areas of ecological and hydrological significance - are all identified in our mapping as areas where urbanization should not occur.
All our work to keep our water in our watershed would be for naught if we pave over our moraines – those wonderful geologic features that ensure we have pristine groundwater. The same is true for our significant wetlands and river corridors. We need to protect these important ecological treasures from the impacts of development and urban sprawl.
Like all Ontarions, in Wellington County, we care about our water. We are fierce vocal advocates against the unnecessary extraction of our precious water and we understand that we must, at the same time, work to protect the natural features that ensure bountiful and clean source water for generations to come. Across our county over 200 “Protect Our Water” signs have been springing up on lawns both rurally and within our municipal boundaries indicating the local support for inclusion into the expanded Greenbelt.
“We will work to see our river corridors, Orangeville Moraine and Paris-Galt Moraine, and significant wetlands and recharge areas included in an expanded Greenbelt. We need comprehensive and effective regional protection of our critical potable water resources, working lands and natural heritage systems,” says Arlene Slocombe, executive director of WWW. “More than 90 per cent of Ontarians agree that the Greenbelt is one of the most important initiatives for the future of the province. Wellington County should be included in this expanded Greenbelt to protect our water!”
The Paris-Galt and Orangeville Moraine features supply clean drinking water directly to the 171,889 people living in Centre Wellington, Erin, Guelph/Eramosa (including the City of Guelph), North Dumfries and portions of North Wellington. They filter and recharge local aquifers and mitigate the risks of flooding and extreme weather for downstream communities. But they are under increasing pressure from urban sprawl and agricultural intensification.
The essential natural features WWW has identified needing Greenbelt expansion, lie outside land already designated for urban development needed to accommodate population growth until 2041 and beyond.
WWW expects the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to host a consultation in Guelph-Wellington. WWW will also host additional town halls and panel events during this 90-day consultation period to ensure that all voices are heard on this issue.
We are encouraging local citizens to speak up and provide feedback to the government supporting this important initiative and to learn more atwww.wellingtonwaterwatchers.ca
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About Wellington Water Watchers Founded in 2007, Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization based in Guelph, Ontario. Committed to the protection of water resources and public education, WWW works to affect local water policy and protect water sources. WWW also sponsors and supports guest speakers, debates, and are active at bottled-water free community events.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Arlene Slocombe, Executive Director, Wellington Water Watchers