About the Moraine
"Oak Ridges Moraine map". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
The Oak Ridges Moraine (Moraine), located in southern Ontario, covers approximately 190,000 hectares of land and stretches 160 kilometres from the Trent River in the east to the Niagara Escarpment in the west. It crosses 32 municipalities and is home to 250,000 to 300,000 people with another 5 million people living close by. The Moraine provides many benefits to southern Ontario and is an extremely vital ecosystem as a result of its unique environmental, geological and hydrological features.
Benefits of the Moraine
One of the Moraine’s most important functions is that it acts as a water recharge and discharge system. Permeable sands and gravel absorb and collect rain and melted snow, which then slowly filter into the deep aquifers, or wet underground layers of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials, below the ground. This groundwater is then used in private and public wells across the Moraine, providing clean drinking water to more than 250,000 people. It is because of this function that the Moraine is often described as southern Ontario’s rain barrel.
For further reading, please see our Oak Ridges Moraine Fact Sheet.