Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council

The Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council, known formally as the Advisory Council on Drinking Water Quality and Testing Standards, is an Agency of the Government of Ontario.

In May 2000, the Town of Walkerton’s drinking water became contaminated with E. Coli which caused seven deaths and severe illness for 2,300 people in the community. This tragedy prompted an inquiry to investigate the cause of contamination in Walkerton and assess the state of drinking water protection in Ontario. On May 23, 2002, Justice O’Connor, in the Part Two Report of the Walkerton Inquiry, recommended the establishment of an “Advisory Council on Standards” for drinking water, as well as making specific recommendations to ensure the safety of drinking water across the province.

As a result, ODWAC was formed in 2004, with the mandate to provide advice and make recommendations to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on drinking water quality and testing standards, as well as other drinking water matters.

To assist with preserving the environmental history of ODWAC’s work, the Canadian Environmental Law Foundation is making available ODWAC’s collection of Annual Reports (2004-2020) which highlight their activities, accomplishments, and initiatives.