The Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA) works with the provincial government on policy and regulation, as it relates to the waterpower industry.

Managing water flows and levels in Ontario

Learn about the importance of Water Management Plans (WMPs) and how they manage water flows and levels at waterpower facilities in Ontario.

Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act

The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) requires dam owners to obtain approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for:

  • the construction of new dams
  • certain repairs and alterations to existing dams
  • certain water crossing and channelization works

LRIA Administrative Guide (August 2017)
The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act Administrative Guide outlines the broad requirements of the Act, including roles and responsibilities, application of the Acts and steps in the review and approval process.

Appendix A – Summary of Updates to LRIA Administrative Guide 2011

LRIA Technical Bulletins
Location Approval for Dams
Alterations, Improvements and Repairs to Existing Dams
Classification and IDF
Seismic Hazard
Structural Design Factors of Safety
Spillway and Flood Control Structures
Geotechnical Design Factors of Safety
Dam decommissioning and Removal
NEW! Maintaining Water Management Plans

Endangered Species Act

Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA) was passed into law in 2007, and came into force on June 30, 2008. Of the 30,000 species that are native to Ontario, more than 180 are at risk. The Act defines an ‘at risk’ species as any native plant or animal that is in danger of disappearing from the province.

Electricity Act

The Electricity Act establishes a “level playing field” for the assessment of waterpower facilities and resources to facilitate fairness in the competitive electricity market.

Ontario Water Resources Act

The Ontario Water Resources 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

Permit to Take Water

Ontario’s Permit to Take Water program ensures water takings in Ontario are managed to the standards of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. By law, you must have a permit if you plan to take 50,000+ litres of water in a day from the environment.

Public Lands Act – Resource Allocation and Sustainable Development

The Public Lands Act ensures that Ontario’s waterpower resources continue to contribute to the prosperity and quality of life of present and future generations.