The focus of this technical discussion paper is on short-term, non-recurring water taking activities. The Ministry is seeking comments on the following:
A. Proposal to clarify that certain activities are not considered water takings by the Ministry, specifically:
- Diversion of a watercourse for the purpose of creating and maintaining a construction site located wholly or partially within the watercourse where the water is returned back to the watercourse.
B. Proposal to provide exception from Permit to Take Water (PTTW) requirements with conditions for the following:
- Pumping of water for the purpose of creating and maintaining a construction site located wholly or partially within the watercourse and where the water that has been pumped is returned back to the same watercourse, if prescribed requirements for discharge are met;
- A taking of water by means of a structure or works constructed for the diversion or storage of water from a surface source of supply, if the structure or works are designed solely for the restoration, managing, conserving or enhancement of wetlands; and
- A taking of water by means of an existing structure or works built across a watercourse for the diversion or storage of water from a surface source of supply if the structure or works is intended solely to allow all natural watercourse flow to pass freely over the crest of the structure. (i.e. weir). The proposed exemption would not include any structures that are utilized in hydro-electric projects (i.e. waterpower projects).
C. Proposal to regulate the following water takings to be prescribed activities for the purposes of the EASR:
- Surface water takings that are restricted to specific purposes for the taking and the location, or rate of the water taking; and
- Short-term construction dewatering less than 400,000 L/day
When developing a technical discussion paper to include a new activity/sector on the EASR, the Ministry undertakes a comprehensive technical analysis and consultation process. This process contains the following steps:
Detailed scoping and technical assessment of activity/sector
- Engineering analysis
- Risk evaluation and modelling
- Jurisdictional review
- Evaluation of local concerns/complaints and past administrative non-compliance with requirement to obtain an approval
Development of draft registry requirements
- Public consultation on a technical discussion paper describing proposed draft requirements (the report included in this posting)
Development of a draft regulation
Public consultation on a draft regulation
Finalizing of regulation and implementation
It is important to note that, while Steps 2 and 4 specifically provide for broad public input through comment on postings on the Environmental and Regulatory registries, the Ministry is also engaging with relevant interested groups (e.g. construction related industry and associations, conservation associations, environmental organizations and technical specialists) to inform each step of the process.
The attached technical discussion paper summarizes the proposed rationale for moving specific short-term, non-recurring water taking activities from the Permit To Take Water process under the Ontario Water Resources Act to the self-registration process on the EASR.