Guideline Development, Review and Evaluation

Guideline Development, Review and Evaluation

Under Section 4 of the Drinking Water Protection Act (DWPA), the Minister of Health may establish drinking water guidelines that must be considered by issuing officials in performing their duties as statutory decision makers. The Drinking Water Officers’ Guide fulfills this role.

The following factors are considered to prioritize guidelines for development, review and evaluation:

  • New science, best practices, or emerging issues;
  • Changes to legislation, regulations, or Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality; or
  • A guideline is not achieving intended outcomes for policy, science or protocols.

Process for Guideline Development, Review and Evaluation

Identification of priority guidelines is initiated through an annual survey to the Drinking Water Leadership Council1. The Ministry of Health leads the development, review and evaluation of guidelines through engagement with parties responsible for or impacted by Provincial drinking water policy. The Ministry maintains an inventory of all guidelines including their years of publication and last update, and aims to review each guideline every five years.

Guidelines Currently Under Review

There are no guidelines currently under review at this time. To be notified when draft guidelines are available to review, or to submit feedback on guidelines at any time to the Ministry of Health, please email

Monitoring Application of the Guidelines

The Provincial Health Officer monitors health authority Drinking Water Officers’ (DWOs) application of the guidelines, and reports on this through the OPHO’s annual drinking water report and reviews of DWO decisions.


1 The Drinking Water Leadership Council is multi-agency committee that fosters communication between the Ministry of Health, health authorities and partner ministry representatives on relevant issues related to drinking water.