The Grand River Source Protection Authority has released the results of the Guelph
and Guelph/Eramosa Tier 3 Water Budget and Local Area Risk Assessment study. The
study's findings were presented to the members of the Lake Erie Region Source Protection
Committee at its meeting on April 6, 2017.
A Tier 3 Water Budget and Local Area Risk Assessment is a detailed scientific study
aimed at evaluating a municipal drinking water system's ability to meet current
and future water quantity demands, a requirement under Ontario's Clean Water Act,
Guelph and Guelph/Eramosa Tier 3 study results
- The City of Guelph's and Guelph/Eramosa Township's wells can meet the current needs
of residents and the municipal drinking water systems.
- The study predicts that the City of Guelph's Queensdale municipal well will not
be able to meet the future needs of City residents and the municipal drinking water
system, under normal climate conditions and during a prolonged drought.
- The water quantity protection area that includes the City of Guelph and Guelph/Eramosa
Township's Hamilton Drive wells has been assigned a significant risk level. Guelph/Eramosa
Township's Rockwood wells have been assigned a low risk level. The water quantity
protection areas were established through the Tier 3 study, and encompass the City
of Guelph, significant portions of the Townships of Guelph/Eramosa and Puslinch
and the Town of Erin, as well as smaller portions of the Region of Halton and the
Region of Waterloo. Maps of the water quantity protection areas can be found on
the Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 webpage.
The findings of the Tier 3 study signal the need to carefully examine all existing
and new water takings within the water quantity protection areas in order to evaluate
their contribution to water quantity stress. In addition, the findings highlight
the need to identify and assess activities that reduce groundwater recharge within
the water quantity protection areas.
"The next step will be to evaluate the risks to identify water takings that have
the greatest impact on municipal supplies and explore effective risk management
measures," explains Martin Keller, Source Protection Program Manager, Grand River
Source Protection Authority. "The Lake Erie Source Protection Region looks forward
to working closely with its municipal partners in the next phase of the Tier 3 project,
in order to develop water quantity policies that protect source water and provide
sustainable groundwater management solutions that benefit everyone."
The Guelph and Guelph/Eramosa Tier 3 study has undergone a peer review on behalf
of the province by a team of highly qualified third party technical experts working
in both academia and private consulting. The Ministry of Environment and Climate
Change has accepted the Tier 3 study results. Local municipalities also participated
as municipal peer reviewers and provided comments.
The initial focus of the Tier 3 study, which began in 2008, was on the City of Guelph's
municipal drinking water system. The study has been led by the Grand River Source
Protection Authority in collaboration with the City of Guelph, the Ministry of Natural
Resources and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
As the study progressed, it became clear that the study area would expand beyond
the boundaries of the City of Guelph. Subsequently, the municipal drinking water
systems of Guelph/Eramosa Township were also included in the study. Guelph/Eramosa
Township provided input to ensure proper characterization of the Township's drinking
water system. The Townships of Guelph/Eramosa and Puslinch, the Town of Erin and
the County of Wellington were invited to participate in the process and provide
comments during the risk assessment phase of the project, and the Region of Waterloo
was consulted where the Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 model overlapped with the Cambridge
Tier 3 model. The Region of Halton has also been kept informed by the Grand River
Source Protection Authority as the study area extended into Halton.
The Grand River Source Protection Authority is the lead authority in the Lake Erie
Source Protection Region, responsible for the administration of the Source Protection
Program under the Clean Water Act, 2006 throughout the Grand River, Long Point Region,
Kettle Creek, and Catfish Creek watersheds. The Lake Erie Region Source Protection
Committee has the responsibility to develop and update the Grand River Source Protection
Plan, and to ensure that municipal drinking water sources are protected. The Source
Protection Program was established under the Act to protect both the quality and
quantity of existing and proposed municipal drinking water sources. The water quality
components of the Grand River Source Protection Plan were approved and have been
in place since July 1, 2016. A Tier 3 water budget study is a major piece of technical
work, which addresses the water quantity component of the plan.
Source water protection is about protecting drinking water resources such as lakes,
rivers and groundwater, from contamination or overuse. Water is critical to all
aspects of our lives. Protecting the sources of our drinking water is important
to ensure that there is enough safe water for all our uses – now and in the future.
To learn more about source water protection in the Lake Erie Source Protection Region,
For additional information about the ongoing work to protect the water quantity
available for the City of Guelph and Township of Guelph/Eramosa drinking water systems,
please visit the
Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 webpage.