Why Monitor Watersheds?
Why monitor Ontario’s Watersheds
A clean and plentiful water supply is one of our most important natural resources. As our population grows and development intensifies, the challenge to maintain high quality and sustainable quantities of water will increase in scope and complexity.
Regular reporting can assist with targeting rehabilitation and protection programs, improving accountability to the public, municipalities and other stakeholders, as well as supporting some of the broader reporting requirements of provincial and federal governments.
Learning About Local Watershed Conditions Promotes Actions
Greater public awareness of the state of the watershed is facilitating participation in activities aimed at protecting and improving water quality.
The grades provide a conceptual framework necessary for encouraging landowners, agencies and government to implement protection and remediation programs and services. Higher grades provide recognition and opportunities for appreciating and protecting natural resources, whereas lower grades show landowners a need for remediation while making the links between land use practices on their own properties and the larger watershed.
Conservation Authority watershed report cards often link landowners to local watershed stewardship program, which often offer funding and/or technical support for projects that help protect and improve water quality. Examples include well decommissioning and upgrading, private septic system upgrades, erosion control, clean water diversion, manure storage and other agricultural best management practices which help reduce nutrient loading and groundwater contamination. Many other programs and services aimed at remediation and protection are also available through different organizations and government programs.
It Is Everyone’s Responsibility
Keeping people and local governments informed about the state of their watersheds builds a broader understanding and support for important programs that protect and ensure healthy ecosystems and a safe, sustainable supply of water in Ontario.