Water plays a central role in all activities within a watershed. The rain that falls on the ground flows to the river and sustains all forms of life. All physical and biological activities within a watershed are intimately connected to water. Therefore, the knowledge of its occurrence, distribution, movement and functions is indispensable in understanding a watershed and all the living beings therein.
Within the Rideau Valley, water levels and stream flow, precipitation and snowpack have been systematically recorded for many years.This information can be analyzed to understand various aspects of the water cycle (or hydrologic cycle) and their impacts on the watershed. Monitoring streamflow and precipitation allows water managers to identify risk-prone areas and better respond to drought or flood conditions.