Top 6 Reasons to Grow the Greenbelt in Simcoe County

Simcoe County is rich with water resources: globally significant wetlands and pristine beaches, to large aquifers, rivers and moraines.

We cannot afford to take all this for granted, we need to protect these drinking water sources. Local conservation authorities have noted the watersheds that clean our drinking water are already showing signs of lower health and are threated further by the growth that is expected in the county in the coming years. 

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 Photo Credit: John Cavers  

Proposed Greenbelt Expansion into Simcoe County. See larger Simcoe County map. 

Right now we have an opportunity to protect our water sources. Here are the top 6 reasons we need to Grow our Greenbelt to protect Simcoe County’s clean water supplies:

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Watershed 101 

The two main watersheds - Lake Simcoe and the Nottawasaga - provide a source of safe drinking water to 25 municipalities with more than half a million residents. We need to protect these vital water resources and our supply of clean drinking water.

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Harmonized Local Policies

Right now, each town and city in Simcoe County sets its own policies and guidelines on water preservation and protection, resulting in a patchwork of protections. By growing the Greenbelt into Simcoe, we can make sure all water resources are protected equally. 

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The Impact of Sprawl

From 2006 to 2013, Simcoe County allowed more natural land and farmland to be paved over for new development than any other municipality in and around the Greenbelt – and it plans to continue sprawling until 2031. This inefficient growth puts undue pressure on our water supplies. We need to protect vital watersheds to withstand this pressure. 

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Population Growth

By 2031, Simcoe County’s population is forecast to exceed 800,000. With water capacity already stretched, thousands of these new residents could face water shortages or worse.

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Climate Change

More frequent and severe droughts cause the earth to dry out and reduce the ground’s ability to absorb precipitation when it falls. Drought also increases the agricultural industry’s reliance on irrigation – record higher rates of droughts are adding more pressure on our water sources.

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Protect Water Now

Growing the Greenbelt in Simcoe County would permanently protect prime farmland, speciality cropland, water sources, and environmentally significant land from inappropriate development right now – not at some point in the future.

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