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Moraine Drain

A series of infographics outlining threats to the Oak Ridges Moraine, which provides drinking water for more than 250,000 Ontarians.

Mom and Son - Drinking Water
Moraine Drain - Protecting Ontarians' drinking water


The Oak Ridges Moraine is a source of drinking water for more than 250,000 Ontarians. The Moraine, which is a 160-kilometre ridge of sand and gravel hills running along the northern part of the Greater Toronto Area, is also home to more than 70 threatened and endangered species. (Map credit: Norman Einstein) 

Oak Ridges Moraine - Map
Credit: Norman Einstein

Every day, Ontario allows millions of litres of surface and ground water to be pumped from the Moraine to water golf courses, sort sand and gravel, keep water bottling companies in business and, during the winter, to make snow. But the Ontario government’s failure to monitor and report exactly how much is pumped threatens every Ontarians' right to clean and safe drinking water. 

Ecojustice and Earthroots created a series of three infographics that set out the challenges, symptoms and solutions to this problem. We wanted to show Ontarians how the government is managing its Permit to Take Water program on the Moraine, a sensitive ecosystem that filters the water that more than 250,000 Ontarians get from their taps. 

Moraine Drain

Our first infographic looks at the trouble we encountered during our investigation and outlines the ongoing threat. 

Oak Ridges Moraine Infographic No. 1 - thumbnail (September 2012)


















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Moraine Management

Our second infographic highlights our concerns about implementation of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act and the fragmented responsibilities regarding environmental and land use planning
Oak Ridges Moraine Infographic No. 2 - thumbnail (September 2012)


















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Solving Moraine Drain

Our third, and final, infographic outlines a few of the steps needed to resolves the challenges that are impeding protection of Moraine water systems.

Oak Ridges Moraine Infographic No. 3 - thumbnail (September 2012)

















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Our vision

We believe that more can be and should be done to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine. The lack of easily accessible information and the lack of attention being given to the total impact of all the water pumping on the Moraine threatens Ontarians’ access to safe and clean drinking water.

We believe that Ontarians have a right to clean water and that it is the role of the government to protect that resource. Help us share these infographics and educate others about what the government needs to do to preserve the Moraine for present and future generations.

Earthroots logo

Ecojustice logo (2011)



Additional Resources



Infographics created by Laurence MacSween of Seed & Company

Maps created by Chris Brackley of As The Crow Flies cARTography


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