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News from: July 2018

MISSISSIPPI AND RIDEAU WATERSHEDS — The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region (MRSPR) is seeking Source Protection Committee members who are interested in protecting municipal drinking water sources in the Mississippi and Rideau Valley watersheds.

The MRSPR Committee was established in 2007 as a result of the Province’s Clean Water Act. The committee guides local efforts to protect drinking water at the source and is made up of one-third municipal, one-third economic and one-third public sector representatives. The composition ensures that a variety of local interests are represented at the decision-making table as the committee works to oversee the implementation of science-based source protection plans.

The committee is currently undergoing a renewal to ensure that it remains in compliance with Ontario Regulation 288/07, the regulation that governs Source Protection Committees under Ontario’s Clean Water Act. The committee is looking for two economic sector representatives to liaise on behalf of industrial, commercial or small business interests as well as two public sector representatives to liaise on behalf of general public, environmental, First Nations and non-governmental organization interests.

“If you have experience and knowledge in one of these two sectors and have an interest in protecting drinking water sources we hope you will apply,” said Brian Stratton, Mississippi-Rideau Source Water Protection Project Manager. “Among other qualifications, these positions require a multi-year commitment, an ability to understand scientific and technical reports and attendance at the two or more Source Protection Committee meetings held each year. Applicants must also live or work in the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds.”

Future work of the Committee includes the review of new scientific and technical information to ensure that the Source Protection Plan and its supporting reports remain current and relevant.

Further details regarding these part-time positions including descriptions of roles and responsibilities and an application form are available online at  https://www.mrsourcewater.ca/en/source-protection-committee-member-recruitment. A small per diem as well as expenses (mileage and meals) will be paid while working on Source Protection business.

Applications are being accepted until August 27, 2018.

Published in Media Release

TAY SUBWATERSHED, July 24, 2018 — Thanks to special funding through the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is covering costs for shoreline restoration projects to landowners in the Tay Subwatershed.

Landowners whose land drains into the Tay River or one of its 14 catchments (portions of Central Frontenac, Drummond/North Elmsley, Rideau Lakes, South Frontenac and Tay Valley Townships) could be eligible for full cost coverage for shoreline naturalization planting and partial funding for tree planting and livestock restriction fencing projects.

RVCA and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation were awarded $25,000 by the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund for environmental work specifically located in the Tay River Subwatershed. This special provincial fund supports work that protects and restores ecological health to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. The money will go towards stewardship activities that will improve watershed health and water quality.

“The RVCA is always looking to work with landowners and businesses who want to help improve water quality,” says Meaghan McDonald. “We do this by undertaking what’s known as best management practices — which are basically simple, practical and affordable ways to manage our resources and let nature do her job on our behalf.”

Unaware of the importance of shoreline vegetation, many landowners clear their shorelines and transform them into urban landscapes. They destroy the cattails, bulrushes and other native species. These changes destroy the balance of the aquatic and shoreline ecosystem. They also alter the wildlife habitat, natural beauty and character of our lakes and rivers. The clean water and features that landowners valued in their waterfront property are compromised.

Fortunately, degraded shorelines can be restored. More and more cottagers and landowners understand the value of natural shorelines.

Tree planting and shoreline naturalization are two easy ways to reduce erosion, filter pollutants and provide valuable habitat to local species. Fencing and restricting livestock from accessing watercourses also protects the shoreline, reduces erosion and keeps animal waste from directly entering creeks, streams and rivers.

“Our goal is to plant at least 5,000 native trees and 1,000 shrubs to naturalize 1,000 metres of shoreline as part of this special project, says Ms. McDonald. “We also hope to work with local farmers and see an additional 300 metres of fencing installed to reduce livestock access to watercourses.”

RVCA staff are looking to connect with interested landowners and conduct site visits and prepare project plans in the coming few months. Fencing projects can be undertaken at any time, but planting projects are being planned now for completion in spring of 2019.

“The success of the program relies largely on landowner interest,” says Ms. McDonald. “We really hope to work with landowners and balance their needs with the needs of the environment. Making the shoreline program free will hopefully enhance participation.”

The project is well supported locally, with participation from community groups including the Friends of the Tay Watershed and Bobs & Crowe Lake Foundation/Association.

“Everyone here wants the same thing,” says Ms. McDonald. “A clean, healthy waterway supporting a vibrant, sustainable community. Working together we hope to maintain and protect the Tay River system.”

To learn more or get involved, contact Meaghan at ext. 1192 or meaghan.mcdonald@rvca.ca. To learn more about the health of the Tay River Subwatershed and what can be done to maintain and improve local conditions, visit https://watersheds.rvca.ca.

Published in Media Release

July 19, 2018 –  This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed is now at Moderate severity.

Rainfall in the last 90 days, measured at climate stations in and around the watershed, is about 60% of the normal amount for the time of year which is the threshold for Moderate Severity Low Water. Rain presently forecast for much of next week will be welcome but is not expected to have a significant impact. Longer range forecasts indicate temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal through the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Although daytime highs greater than 30 degrees appear to be passing, it will still be warm enough for evaporation to continue to reduce water levels on all lakes and streams. Levels and streamflows are below normal for the time of year but are still above critical thresholds. Flows in smaller streams will be raised briefly if the shortrange weather forecasts prove to be accurate.

Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are at levels typical of later into September. However, there have been no reports of insufficient draft on the Rideau Canal system relayed to the Conservation Authority.

Conditions are expected to decline generally. Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.

Water conservation is recommended for everyone within the Rideau River watershed including residents on private wells inside the City of Ottawa boundary. Those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible. Residents on private well systems are also urged to use water conservatively. Using rain barrels to capture any rain to water lawns and gardens. Avoid using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences. All these actions contribute to the conservation of our water resources. Municipalities may have invoked water restrictions so check your municipal website for applicable bylaws.

 

Published in Media Release

July 10, 2018 –  This statement is to advise that present conditions in the Rideau River watershed are now at the threshold for Minor Low Water status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.

Rainfall in the last 90 days, measured at climate stations in and around the watershed, is about 80% of the normal amount for the time of year which is the threshold for Minor Low Water. The present heat wave with several daytime high temperatures above 30 degrees has burned lawns and wilted plants in gardens. Lake levels and streamflows are below normal for the time of year but are still above critical thresholds. Smaller streams will be drying up as they do most years. There is flow in larger streams in the watershed but it is declining.

With the hot weather that continues to cause considerable evaporation, Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are at levels typical of early August. There is, though, sufficient water for Parks Canada – Ontario Waterways to state that draft and navigation are normal throughout the Rideau Canal system.

Conditions are expected to decline with no significant rain in the present 5 day forecasts. Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant. 

All watershed residents are encouraged to conserve water at all times but they should be particularly conservative when low water conditions occur.

Other relevant information sources are:

 

Published in Media Release

RIDEAU VALLEY WATERSHED, July 3, 2018 — The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) celebrated the planting of their six millionth tree on Thursday, June 28.

This special tree is hidden among the over 275,000 seedlings planted this spring throughout the watershed — somewhere in the over 4,000 square kilometres of ground between the City of Ottawa and South Frontenac Township north of Kingston.

This achievement was celebrated with a ceremonial tree dedication at the RVCA’s Perth Wildlife Reserve.

Thanks to the many, community-minded funding partners, over $5.7 million has been raised to support tree planting since 1983 — much of these funds come through the continued support of key green investors including Carleton Refrigeration, the City of Ottawa, Eastern Ontario Model Forest, Forests Ontario, McGarry Funeral Homes, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Newcap LiVE 88.5, Pratt & Whitney Canada and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation.

The total value of the local reforestation effort including the landowner contributions is closer to $9.8 million and has resulted in over 26.9 square kilometres (2,686 hectares) of idle or marginal land being converted into thriving, treed landscapes.

“We are delighted to share this major milestone with our municipal and community minded-funding partners,” said RVCA Chair Lyle Pederson. “We are grateful to our watershed municipalities for investing in our green infrastructure. The additional commitment from landowners and our business community is a reflection of our shared desire for a healthy, green sustainable watershed. Thank you to all our partners and especially the generous donors who support our tree planting program.”

RVCA staff are currently looking for next year’s planting partners. Landowners who are interested in having one acre or more (0.4 hectares) planted in trees can contact the RVCA to learn more about the program or book a free site visit. The RVCA’s full-service program includes free site visits with forestry experts, development of planting plans, site preparation, tree planting operations, follow-up assessments and operations to ensure long-term tree establishment. 

“As someone who has been involved in the RVCA tree planting program — I can speak to the professional staff, impressive financial incentives and the many benefits the tree planting program offers,” said Chair Pederson who encourages landowners to learn more about the RVCA’s reforestation programs by visiting the Conservation Authority’s website at www.rvca.ca or calling 1-800-267-3504 to speak to a member of the Forestry Team.

Photo caption – left to right:
Ottawa Councillor David Chernushenko, RVCA Board Member and Township of Drummond/North Elmsley Councillor Ray Scissons and RVCA Chair Lyle Pederson celebrate the planting of the RVCA’s 6 millionth tree with the dedication of a sugar maple at the Perth Wildlife Reserve.

Published in Media Release

Contact Us

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

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

Email:
info@rvca.ca

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

Member of: conservation ontario