• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Water Watcher message spreads over Ontario

In About Us
Apr 11th, 2018
Don Morgan and Karen Rathwell

AWARE Simcoe’s Don Morgan and Karen Rathwell of Wellington Water Watchers at AGM. -AWARE Simcoe photo

News release from Wellington Water Watchers

Karen Rathwell, seven-year member of WWW, spoke in Simcoe County last Saturday April 7 2018 at the AGM for AWARE Simcoe.

Karen advocates for the Ontario government to phase out permits to bottle water on behalf of Wellington Water Watchers in advance of the Ontario election. Everyone at the meeting was asked to visit, write, call or email their MPP to share their concerns for water protection and ask their representative to endorse the Wellington Water Watchers Water for Life Not Profit program.

Participants were eager to learn more about water issues and activities in Wellington County. “We need to connect people to the water,” Rathwell told the meeting, running down a list of WWW events aimed at bringing all sorts of groups together around the shared goal. “ Because you protect what you love.”

In Simcoe County,  residents are uniting to protect their groundwater, treasured forests and irreplaceable moraines that provide us all, for free, the gift of life. Participants shared their struggles with land development, toxic soil dumping, aggregate extraction, landfills/dumps, land banking, loss of prime agricultural land and the bottled water industry.

“The Wellington Water Watchers are an inspiration to us all, “ said AWARE Simcoe chair Don Morgan, noting that there are many commonalities in water protection concerns between Simcoe and Wellington counties. For instance, the recent approval by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation authority of a subdivision to be built over a wetland is paralleled by a similar situation in Wellington County involving riverside land that was deeded to the public for protection by a family and is now under threat of development.

AWARE Simcoe (aware-simcoe.ca) is an umbrella organization with representatives from across Simcoe County and the theme for this year’s AGM was, “Water for Life, Not Profit”.

Simcoe County surrounds the cities of Barrie and Orillia and consists of sixteen Towns and Townships. It’s the third largest by physical size in Ontario and the second largest based on population. This county is home to the headwaters of many important Ontario rivers and geological features that provide form wetlands and moraines that provides filtering for vast amounts of Ontario the province’s fresh water.

Despite the large distances that separate them, under the leadership of a small but mighty group, all members of AWARE Simcoe have become knowledgeable and supportive about each other’s concerns across this County. The message on the AWARE Simcoe home page calls out, “Elect to Protect”, sending a clear message that we need to vote to make sure our grandchildren will have clean land, air and water. This can no longer be assumed.

Wellington Water Watchers, a grassroots, not for profit organization, hails from Guelph and Wellington County. WWW continues to send a message that we need to make every decision by asking if it will benefit our families seven generations from now. Water is a gift to us, to use while it is our time here. We all need clean water to live; it must be treated with respect and protected from harmful actions.

For more information about AWARE Simcoe: aware-simcoe.ca

For more information about Wellington Water Watchers: wellingtonwaterwatchers@gmail.com

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