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May 28

Water Management

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Everyone who pays attention to the news has heard about water shortages in California and the impact that is having on farming and every citizen in those areas affected. A new law was passed in April 2015 where the governor required cities and towns to cut water usage by an average of 25 per cent. Many urban residents are asking why their water is being restricted when about 80 percent of piped water is actually used in the state’s fields and orchards.

 In the United States and Canada there is a strong push to become environmentally friendly both in the quantity of water used as well as the quality of water discharged back into the land.

 Did you notice (in Ontario) the name change of the MOE? As of June 24 2014 the Ministry of Environment is now the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)! The purpose of this expanded title is to “work with other ministers and ministries to coordinate the province’s response to climate change,”

We can be sure that regulations that are already law will be enforced. Are you aware of those laws? In Ontario to operate a greenhouse you are required by law to:

  • get a Permit to Take Water (PTTW), if you take more than 50,000 litres of water on any given day from a lake, stream, river, pond or groundwater source
  • get approval from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to discharge sewage, including storm water, process water and sanitary sewage
  • get approval to use, operate, establish, alter, extend or replace new or existing sewage works
  • properly store and handle pesticides and hold a Greenhouse/Interior Plant exterminator or Grower Certificate to apply certain pesticides

In early 2012, Flowers Canada members supported a funding request for a Water Specialist to provide guidance to the floriculture sector on the issues related to water management. The Water Specialist role has two main components: assisting growers with the development of Greenhouse Water Abatement Plans, and to collaborate with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG), The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Ministry of Environment (now MOECC), and FCO members to develop appropriate and sustainable management solutions for greenhouse waste water. For more information on this project please contact Jeanine West at

 There are solutions to complying with the law. Especially when planning a new facility or expanding your greenhouse. Our team at Paul Boers /Prins Greenhouses would love to help your team plan your water management strategy. Let our experience help your bottom line and keep you growing green! Call your sales rep today.


Once run off water is collected, discuss with
us how to treat it!

Rudy Ouwersloot