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March 25, 2021­ - Above normal temperatures in March have melted most of the snow across the Rideau Valley watershed. The snow melt was quite rapid at first causing water levels and flows to rise quickly in some areas. This was followed by a more gradual melt of the remaining snow. For the most part, water levels and flows are about normal for this time of year and are well below flood thresholds.    

The short-term forecast is calling for rainfall amounts of between 40 to 50 millimetres between Thursday and Sunday, with heaviest rain on Friday, and cooler temperatures but still above zero. If the rain comes as forecast, water levels and flows will increase again across the Rideau Valley Watershed. As such, an updated FLOOD OUTLOOK is in effect due the possibility of flooding for all low-lying areas along all waterways, especially near small creeks and streams. Parks Canada staff who manage the water levels for the Rideau Canal have indicated that the levels in the upper watershed lakes are currently below average and expected to rise but not to flood levels.

Further to the above, a FLOOD WATCH is in effect for the low-lying areas along Stevens Creek and Taylor Drain in the Village of North Gower. If the rain comes as forecast, water levels may be similar too, or possibly higher than, those already observed this spring.

With the rising water levels expected over the coming days, the remaining ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams, and rivers will be unstable. In addition, ice cover in the rivers and streams may breakup as a result of warm temperatures and higher flows, increasing the risk of ice jams and associated overbank flooding. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision. 

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve 
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling 
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase 
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until April 15, 2021, at 5 p.m. and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.

RIDEAU VALLEY, March 19, 2021 – Even the goodest of good pups can accidentally harass or kill wildlife while off exploring, which is why we’re reminding visitors to keep their dogs on-leash and on conservation area trails at all times.

Spring is a particularly sensitive time, as some birds and animals build their nests on or very close to the ground. These nests can easily be trampled, eaten or otherwise destroyed by curious canines.

While we welcome on-leash dogs to most of our conservation areas, RVCA's Conservation Lands manager Chelsey Ellis says her department’s top priority is protecting the natural spaces the RVCA owns and manages.

“Off-leash dogs disrupt the ecosystems we are trying to protect,” Ellis said. “We want to ensure we can balance all the unique natural activities happening at our sites. Guest can do their part to help by keeping dogs on-leash while they connect with nature.”

The meadowlark, bobolink and whip-poor-will are all considered species at risk in Ontario, and all of them build their nests on the ground, making them vulnerable to roaming pups. Game animals like grouse, ducks and turkeys also nest on the ground. Mammals like mice, voles, chipmunks and even skunks can also be found cuddled up with their young in burrows, under logs, in leaf litter or in cavities at the base of trees where they are at risk of being disturbed.

Allowing pups to poop in the woods where it’s not easily cleaned up is a problem, too, as dog poop can contaminate nearby waterways and introduce disease and parasites to local wildlife. Cleaning up after your dog – on or off the trail – is essential to protecting our natural areas and waterways.

The RVCA operates 11 conservation areas across the watershed, including 42 kilometres of trails. Our properties include wetlands and forests, unique floodplain lands along the Rideau River and a wildlife reserve in Perth. Please note the wildlife reserve does not allow any dogs at any time.

To plan your visit, see www.rvca.ca/conservation-areas.

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RIDEAU LAKES, March 15, 2021 – Holmes and Watson would surely approve of the watershed’s latest investigative team: the Township of Rideau Lakes, Upper Rideau Lake Association (URLA) and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA). 

This spring, staff and volunteers from all three organizations will embark on their second season of a unique collaboration to examine why water quality in Adrains Creek is consistently rated “poor” in RVCA reports – and whether the creek is contributing to the same poor rating in Upper Rideau Lake. 

RVCA regularly monitors sites throughout Upper Rideau Lake and one site on Adrains Creek. The township contributed funding to support additional sampling last summer, and URLA supplied funding and two volunteers. 

“This is a new type of project for us,” said RVCA’s surface water quality co-ordinator Sarah MacLeod-Neilson, who organized the program. “We’re excited for more collaborations like this. We want to work with our municipalities, lake associations and other local partners to identify and address specific problem areas.”

Adrains Creek was identified as having poor water quality in a 2014 subwatershed report because of high concentrations of nutrients, metals and bacterial counts, but it was unclear whether that was due to natural causes, a one-off event or upstream land uses. 

Malcolm Norwood, then the township’s acting manager of development services, said this kind of investigation helps the municipality make better planning decisions. 

“The more detailed information we can get, the easier it is to go to Council and say, ‘Here’s the problem and here are some policy options to rectify it,’” Norwood said. “Being able to partner with the RVCA and use their expertise helps us understand these acute problems to enact better policies.”

Dave Counter was one of two URLA volunteers who provided his time and a boat to get samples to the RVCA while working within strict public health measures last summer. The idea was that he and fellow volunteer Ena Shaw would sample the creek during big rain events, but the 2020 summer was so dry it almost never happened. 

Instead, Counter and Shaw took standing water samples ever few weeks and sent MacLeod-Neilson photos of the creek’s general status. 

Counter and Shaw also tested lake water in McNally’s Bay and at the mouth of the creek to determine if the creek’s water quality was impacting the lake. Results showed no evidence that it was, largely due to the lack of water flow in the system. 

Despite last year’s efforts, no definitive cause for the creek’s poor quality was unearthed. With the mystery still to be solved, all parties have agreed that more monitoring is needed in 2021. Counter has already committed to continue sampling this spring and summer – hopefully with more rain events to get the flow data they need. 

“I told the RVCA if they needed any help solving this mystery, we would provide it,” Counter said. 

As for MacLeod-Neilson, she said she’s impressed with the dedication of RVCA’s volunteers and the interest from member municipalities to protect and improve water quality in the Rideau Valley. 

“We’re truly grateful to all of our partners,” she said. 

To learn more about RVCA water quality monitoring and for information about your subwatershed, visit watersheds.rvca.ca

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WCS – R03/2021

March 8, 2021 –The winter of 2020-21 is quickly coming to an end. After a mild start, February brought cooler temperatures. The watershed saw a significant rain event in late December, followed by below normal precipitation in January and above normal precipitation in February. Current conditions recorded at several RVCA and Parks Canada snow course sites are indicating normal water content amounts in the snow for this time of year. In general, water levels on lakes and flows in the streams are presently below normal for this time of year.

The current short-term weather forecast indicates a warm week ahead with daytime high temperatures well above zero from Tuesday through at least next weekend and night-time low temperatures also above zero on Wednesday and Thursday. The forecast indicates some but no significant precipitation this week.

If the temperatures come as forecast, a significant amount of the snow is expected to melt across the Rideau Valley watershed which will make water levels and flows rise quickly and may result in flooding for low lying areas along all waterways, especially near small creeks and streams. Parks Canada staff who manage the water levels for the Rideau Canal have indicated that the levels in lakes are expected to rise in the upper watershed lakes as the snowpack begins to melt.

City of Ottawa crews have begun the annual ice removal program on the Rideau River between Rideau Falls and Bronson Avenue. Crews will work to keep the ice from reforming until the spring freshet occurs (for more information: City of Ottawa information at 311).

With the rising water levels that can be expected over the coming weeks, ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams, and rivers will be unstable. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision. 

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve 
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling 
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase 
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until March 31, 2021, at 5 p.m. and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.

"Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed created under the Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and natural resource conservation."

 RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

OTTAWA, March 1, 2021 – It’s officially March! And you know what that means: time to haul in your fishing huts, hockey nets and other gear before the ice is out. 

Building materials, rink lights, benches and shovels, garbage and other waste can pollute our rivers and lakes, be toxic for fish and wildlife and create hazards for boaters and swimmers in the spring. 

Under Ontario law, Eastern Ontario fishing huts must be removed by March 15. However, as the sun gets stronger and the weather begins to warm, it’s wise to remove them sooner rather than later. If you wait too long, you may find the ice too thin to access your belongings! It is an offence under the Public Lands Act to leave your ice hut out after ice break up, even if that occurs before the removal deadline.

So take some time this week to collect your belongings, dispose of your garbage and dismantle any structures you’ve built on the ice. Protect and respect the river that has kept you going all through the long winter months! 

For complete fishing hut regulations visit www.ontario.ca/ice-fishing. To learn about water quality in your area and how to improve it, visit watersheds.rvca.ca.

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WESTPORT, March 1, 2021 – Get out and enjoy everything winter has to offer with a free outdoor adventure kit from Foley Mountain Conservation Area. 

Beginning March 2, families can pick up one of 100 kits from any Rideau Lakes or Westport library branch. 

The kits include materials and instructions to identify and follow animal tracks in the snow, explore the wonderful world of snowflakes, do an experiment with a jello mouse, create a backyard birdfeeder, make snow ice cream and more. 

“This is just another way we’re keeping connected with local families and promoting outdoor education,” said site supervisor Rebecca Whitman. “We hope people will be inspired to get outside more and enjoy all the fun winter has to offer.”

The kits were made possible through generous donations from Friends of Foley Mountain and the Township of Rideau Lakes, support from Kudrinko’s grocery store in Westport and distribution services from the libraries.

“This is the first time we’re doing this and we’re thrilled to have so many partners involved to keep families engaged while they’re at home,” Whitman said. 

The kits can be adapted for all ages; parents can modify the activities as needed to engage both younger and older kids.

While signs of spring are starting to appear, there could still be another six weeks of winter – and this is the time when families start to feel the fatigue of the coldest months. 

“I’m hoping these kits will help families pull through the last stretch of winter and keep the wonder of nature and the great outdoors at their fingertips,” Whitman said.

Questions about the kits can be sent to 

More “Fresh Air Fun” activities can be found at www.rvca.ca and on our YouTube channel.  

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The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) Board of Directors normally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. The meetings are held in the Monterey Boardroom at the Rideau Valley Conservation Centre.

Do you want to speak to the RVCA Board of Directors? (  pdfDetails here)
Delegation Request Form (  pdfDetails here)

For a full agenda package, please contact
For complete minutes with associated attachments, please contact
Please note that minutes are posted when they are approved.

Please Note: Due to COVID-19 meetings will be held as Conference Calls — Contact Michelle Paton at  for more details

Board of Directors — 2021

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
July 22, 2021 Agenda Package  
June 24, 2021 Agenda Package Approved Minutes
May 27, 2021 Agenda Package Approved Minutes
April 22, 2021 Agenda Package Approved Minutes
March 25, 2021 Agenda Package Approved Minutes
February 25, 2021 Agenda Package Approved Minutes
January  — — 

Board of Directors – 2020

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
January - -
February - -
March - -
April 23, 2020 Agenda
Minister’s Direction for Conservation Authorities during the COVID-19 Outbreak 
Approved Minutes
May, 28, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
June 25, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
July 23, 2020 Revised Agenda Approved Minutes
August 27, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
September 24, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
October 22, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
November 5, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
November 26, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
December - -

Board of Directors – 2019

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
February 21, 2019
Orientation & Training
Agenda Board of Directors Orientation & Training Session Presentation
February 28, 2019 Agenda #01-19 Approved Minutes #01-19
March 28, 2019 Agenda #02-19 Approved Minutes #02-19
April 25, 2019 Agenda #03-19 Minutes #03-19 
June 27, 2019 Agenda #04-19 Minutes #04-19
July 25, 2019 Agenda #05-19 Minutes #05-19
September 26, 2019 Agenda #06-19 Minutes #06-19
October 24, 2019 Agenda #07-19 Minutes #07-19
November 28, 2019 Agenda #08-19 Minutes #08-19

Board of Directors - 2018

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
January 25, 2018 Agenda #01-18 Minutes #01-18
February 22, 2018 Agenda #02-18 Minutes #02-18
March 22, 2018 Agenda #03-18 Minutes #03-18
April 26, 2018 Agenda #04-18 Minutes #04-18
May 24, 2018 Agenda #05-18 Minutes #05-18
June 28, 2018 Watershed Tour
 
July 26, 2018 Agenda #06-18 Minutes #06-18
August   No Meeting
September 27, 2018 Agenda #07-18 Minutes #07-18
October 25, 2018 Agenda # 08-18 Minutes #08-18
November 22, 2018 Agenda #09-18 Minutes #09-18 
December  No Meeting

Board of Directors - 2017

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
January 26, 2017 Agenda #01-17 Minutes #01-17
February 23, 2017 Agenda #02-17 Minutes #02-17
March 23, 2017 Agenda #03-17 Minutes #03-17
April 27, 2017 Agenda #04-17 Minutes #04-17
May 25, 2017 Agenda #05-17 Minutes #05-17
June 22, 2017 Board Tour No Meeting
July 27, 2017 Agenda #06-17 Minutes #06-17
August   No Meeting  No Meeting
September 28, 2017 Agenda #07-17 Minutes #07-17
October 26, 2017 Agenda # 08-17 Minutes #08-17
November 23, 2017 Agenda # 9-17 Minutes #9-17
December  14, 2017 Agenda #10-17  

Board of Directors - 2016

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
January 28, 2016 Agenda #01-16 Minutes #01-16
February 25, 2016 Agenda #02-16 CANCELLED
March 31, 2016 Agenda #03-16 Minutes #03-16
April 28, 2016 Agenda #04-16 Minutes #04-16
May 26, 2016 Agenda #05-16 Minutes #05-16
July 28, 2016 Agenda #06-16 Minutes #06-16
August 25, 2016 Agenda #07-16 Minutes #07-16
October 27, 2016 Agenda #08-16 Minutes #08-16
November 24, 2016 Agenda #09-16 Minutes #09-16

 Board of Directors - 2015

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
February 26, 2015 Agenda #01-15 Minutes #01-15
March 26, 2015 Agenda #02-15
Agenda #02-15 Watershed Brief
Minutes #02-15
April 23, 2015 Agenda #03-15
Agenda #03-15 Watershed Brief
Minutes #03-15
May 28, 2015 Agenda #04-15
Agenda #04-15 Watershed Brief
Minutes #04-15
June 25, 2015 Agenda #05-16
Agenda #05-15 Watershed Brief
Minutes #05-16
July 23, 2015 Agenda #06-15
Agenda #06-15 Watershed Brief
Minutes #06-15
September 24, 2015 Agenda #07-15 Minutes #07-15
October 22, 2015 Agenda #08-15 Minutes #08-15
November 26, 2015 Agenda #09-15 Minutes #09-15

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) Executive Committee normally meets on the second Thursday of each month. The meetings are held in the Monterey Boardroom at the Rideau Valley Conservation Centre.

Delegation Request Form (  pdfDetails here)

Please Note: Due to COVID-19 meetings will be held as Conference Calls — Contact Michelle Paton at  for more details

Executive Committee — 2021

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
     
November 11, 2021    
October 14, 2021     
September 9, 2021    
August 12, 2021  Cancelled  
July 8, 2021  Cancelled  
June 24, 2021 Agenda - June 24, 2021 Draft Minutes
June 10, 2021 Cancelled  
May 6, 2021 Agenda - May 6, 2021 Approved Minutes
April 2021 Cancelled  
March 11, 2021 Agenda - March 11, 2021 Approved Minutes
March 4, 2021 Agenda - March 4, 2021 Approved Minutes
February 11, 2021 Cancelled  
January 14, 2021 Cancelled  

Please Note: Due to COVID-19 meetings will be held as Conference Calls — Contact Michelle Paton at  for more details

Source Protection Authority Meetings — 2021

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
December    
November     
October     
September     
August     
July     
June     
May     
April 22, 2021  Agenda Package  
March    
 February    
January    

Source Protection Authority Meetings – 2020

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
April 23, 2020 Agenda Approved Minutes
November 26, 2020 Agenda Draft Minutes

Source Protection Authority Meetings – 2019

Meeting DateAgendasMinutes
November 28, 2019 Agenda Minutes
April 25, 2019 Agenda
Appendix A - 2018 Supplemental Form
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OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2021 – The spring melt is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare for it than a new and improved flood data website for waterfront residents?

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s flood forecasting webpage now includes access to several new data sets that will help residents in flood-prone areas of the Rideau Valley watershed and parts of the Ottawa River watershed prepare for flood season. 

These updates include: 

The data and maps can be customized, downloaded, printed and shared. The hope is that, armed with historic trends as well as real-time flood forecasting from staff at the RVCA, residents will be better prepared to avoid, limit and manage flood damage in the future. 

“Our number one goal is to keep people and property safe, and the best way to do that is with information,” said Brian Stratton, RVCA’s manager of engineering. “The more knowledge residents have about the potential for floods in their neighbourhoods, the better.”

Particularly exciting is the installation of four real-time flood gauges in several vulnerable communities within the City of Ottawa. Cumberland was hit hard by the Ottawa River floods in 2017 and 2019, and the new gauge will help residents compare current water levels to past floods. This will help them predict what’s coming and prepare accordingly, Stratton said. Three other communities – North Gower, Richmond and Brantwood Park – will also benefit from new real-time gauges. 

Homeowners in other vulnerable communities within the City of Ottawa can also access new neighbourhood flood mapping that shows where and how floodwaters could breach their communities during 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50- and 100-year floods. These maps will help residents decide how to best protect their properties when the waters rise, whether by sandbagging in the best spot or moving important items to higher ground. 

The historical data covering snowpack measurements, lake water levels and Rideau River water levels are also important resources – not just for flood forecasting, but also for spotting weather trends, monitoring local climate change impacts and informing future hazard mapping, municipal planning and zoning decisions. 

All of these tools can be found at www.rvca.ca/watershed-conditions

Should flooding occur, the first response is up to property owners. Make sure you have emergency contact information for your municipality on hand, and create an emergency plan to minimize flood-related property damages and to keep people safe. If you don’t have a plan, now’s the time to make one – there are plenty of excellent resources online, including on the RVCA website. You can also refer to RVCA's 2021 Flood Contingency Plan for detailed flood response information. 

The first step for flood preparation is staying informed about the watershed’s current conditions. To receive notifications about flood risks and warnings, subscribe to our Flood Forecasting and Warning newsletter at www.rvca.ca/about-us/join-our-mailing-lists.

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Page 4 of 92

Contact Us

Address:
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

Phone:
613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504

Email:

Hours:

Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario