Conservation Ontario E-News

Representing Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities

 

www.conservation-ontario.on.ca      MARCH 2008

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                                               Volume 1, Number 1

 

 

Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities are community-based resource management organizations that manage Ontario’s water and land resources on a watershed basis.

 Map

What is a Watershed?

 

 

 

WELCOME to the first issue of Conservation Ontario’s E-bulletin entitled Conservation Ontario E-News. This newsletter provides information and updates on issues about Conservation Authorities. Conservation Ontario represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities.

 

Conservation Ontario E-News is distributed every two months. To subscribe or unsubscribe. Please share this e-bulletin with others.

 

This March 2008 issue of Conservation Ontario’s E-News is about WATER.

It provides information on programs and services within Conservation Authorities that impact beneficially on water throughout Ontario.   

CONTENTS

PROTECTING RURAL WATER QUALITY

CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES HELP TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

FLOOD FORECASTING AND WARNING IS A PRIORITY

TEACHING TOOL FOR WATER EDUCATION

DRINKING WATER STEWARDSHIP

CONSERVATION NOTES

 

 

 

 

Conservation Authority Pilot Projects promote sustainable farms and protect water

Six conservation Authorities are partnering with farmers and other agencies to carry out demonstration projects that show how environmental farming practices can be cost efficient and help to protect water in Ontario.

A total of $648,700 has been provided by Greencover Canada through the Ontario Soil &  Water Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA).

  

Conservation Authorities Deliver Practical Solutions Through Rural Water Quality Programs

Conservation Authority Water Quality Improvement Programs encourage and assist landowners to implement best management practices on their properties in order to protect and improve water resources in our watersheds. The Conservation Authorities act as the on-the-ground delivery agents working with their local watershed communities and landowners in the implementation of watershed stewardship programs.

In 2006, over $6.5 million was provided through Conservation Authority programs to landowners to undertake a range of projects including water quality improvement, forestry, habitat rehabilitation, water supply and septic management projects. The total value of these projects is nearly $14.5 million. For more information…

 The very successful Clean Water Program, a partnership of nine Conservation Authorities and participating municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, offers technical and financial assistance to protect and improve water quality on rural properties. Some of the projects being carried out include well decommissioning, erosion control, restricting livestock access to water and wellhead protection.

 

Key to the success of these programs is the use of important local partnerships with landowners and other organizations such as government, other environmental organizations and community groups.

South Nation Conservation’s Clean Water Program has been protecting water quality in the South Nation watershed for 15 years. Since 1993, approximately $1.9 million has been provided in grants to farmers for over 500 projects that protect both surface and groundwater sources. Total value of these projects is estimated to be $8.7 million.

 

 

 

Preparing for Change in Ausable Bayfield Watersheds

(Ausable Bayfield CA)

 

Climate Change

(Toronto and Region Conservation)

 

Climate Change in Your Watershed, In Your Backyard

(Credit Valley Conservation)

CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES HELP COMMUNITIES TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change affects water resources in our watersheds.

Increasing temperatures create more drought conditions, more frequent severe weather, extreme rainfall and lower levels in rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater sources. It is expected that we will experience reduced coldwater fisheries, reduced wetland & marsh habitats, poorer water quality and greater competition for water supplies, creating more frequent water restrictions. All of these conditions affect water managers such as Conservation Authorities.

Conservation Authorities help Ontario communities to adapt to climate change because of the work they do in our watersheds.

§          monitor watershed conditions and participate in developing  integrated watershed management plans;

§          map our water & other resources in order to know how much we have, how it’s being used and what is needed to keep the watershed healthy;

§          deliver Watershed Stewardship programs that protect water resources in partnership with landowners;

§          make sure our flood and erosion plans are up to date and in line with current predicted standards;

§          monitor low water levels and encourage water users to conserve.

 

 

 

Conservation Ontario Flood Forecasting and Warning Bulletin

 

Many Conservation Authorities provide public safety information around the dangers of flooding

 

Playing It Safe, Playing It Cool

(Grand River CA)

 

Spring Awareness Program

 (Quinte Conservation)

 

What You Should Know & What You Should Do

(Mattagami Region CA)

 

 

FLOOD FORECASTING & WARNING IS A PRIORITY FOR CONSERVATION AUTHORITIES

In cooperation with various levels of government, Conservation Authorities protect life and property from natural hazards such as flooding and erosion.

 

In Ontario, Conservation Authorities, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Canada are responsible for forecasting where and when flooding is likely to occur and issuing flood alerts and warning.

 

Specifically Conservation Authorities:

§          predict flows and water levels within their watersheds, operating flood control structures such as dams to prevent or reduce flooding;

§          work with the province and municipalities to prepare flood contingency plans as well as work with them during a flood emergency.

 

Conservation Authorities use stream gauges, weather stations, snow condition surveys, meteorological forecasts and computer models to determine the potential for flooding.

 

Many Conservation Authorities provide current watershed conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

…more resources

Conservation Ontario Source Water Protection Education Resources

TEACHING TOOL FOR WATER EDUCATION

Conservation Ontario has also developed a new teaching tool—an Animated Watershed. Watershed Connections is a CD product available online.

 

   

 The INTERACTIVE CD ROM provides a cross section of a watershed and shows how our water can be threatened and what kinds of stewardship practices help to protect this important natural resource so that we have enough safe clean water now and in the future. It also explains what a watershed is, how water moves across our landscape and what kinds of different natural systems there are that impact on each other.

 

In conjunction with the Province, Conservation Ontario has produced a series of Source Protection Stewardship Fact Sheets

 

§  What Landowners Can Do To Protect Water

 

§  Water Quality & Water Quantity

 

§  What Are Highly Vulnerable Areas

 

§  What Are Intake Protection Zones

 

§  What is a Wellhead Protection Area

DRINKING WATER STEWARDSHIP

Conservation Authorities have received ‘Early Action Funding’ to provide to landowners in these areas for:

§          Well decommissioning and upgrading

§          Septic system inspections and upgrades

§          Runoff and erosion protection

§          Pollution prevention reviews aimed at better management, storage, handling & disposal

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has established the Drinking Water Stewardship Fund in order to help landowners near municipal sources of drinking water to reduce threats on their properties to these sources.

Information on these programs can be found in Conservation Ontario’s Education & Outreach Toolkit

 

CONSERVATION NOTES

Mexico creates their first Conservation Authority - February 4, 2008 -  Mexico has just created a community-based watershed management agency that is modeled after Ontario’s Conservation Authorities.  It is the first of its kind in that country. For more information…

 

 

 

This bulletin is produced by:

Conservation Ontario

P.O. Box 11, 120 Bayview Parkway, Newmarket Ontario L3Y 4W3

Tel: 905.895.0716  Email: info@conservation-ontario.on.ca

 

Conservation Ontario  E-News is distributed every two months. To subscribe or unsubscribe. Please share this e-bulletin with others.

 

Conservation Ontario represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, local watershed management agencies located throughout the province.

 

www.conservation-ontario.on.ca