The Ontario Water Resources Act is designed to conserve, protect and manage Ontario's water resources for efficient and sustainable use. The act focuses on both groundwater and surface water throughout the province.
The Water Resources Act regulates sewage disposal and "sewage works" and prohibits the discharge of polluting materials that may impair water quality. The act was also designed in part to protect the province's water resources from industrial and commercial users who might draw more water out of provincial aquifers than they can reasonably sustain. Permits to take more than 50,000 litres of water per day from ground or surface water sources are regulated under the Water Resources Act. The Water Resources Act also regulates well construction, well operation and abandonment, and the approval, construction and operation of all waterworks.