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01-03-2010, 05:14 AM
Grand River Conservation Authority
<img src="http://i576.photobucket.com/albums/ss203/UrbanWaterloo/Transportation/WatershedMap.jpg" height="500px" title="Click for PDF" </img> (http://www.grandriver.ca/Grca/WatershedMap.pdf)
The Grand River flows 300 kilometres through southwestern Ontario from the highlands of Dufferin County to Port Maitland on Lake Erie.
The Grand River Conservation Authority manages water and other natural resources on behalf of 38 municipalities and close to one million residents.
The Grand River Conservation Authority has the responsibility to regulate activities in natural and hazardous areas in order to:
prevent the loss of life and property due to flooding and erosion, and
conserve and enhance natural resources.
This is done through the application of regulations affecting areas in and near rivers streams, floodplains, wetlands, slopes and the Lake Erie shoreline. The GRCA also works with municipalities to review development applications under The Ontario Planning Act to ensure they meet local and provincial environmental standards. If you are planning a project you may need a GRCA permit, approval under The Planning Act or both.
About the GRCA
Through its predecessor agencies, the Grand River Conservation Authority lays claim to being the first watershed management agency in Canada. It continues today as a partnership of its member municipalities, which have banded together to manage and restore the river. The province of Ontario and many partner groups also work with the GRCA to improve the river. Today's GRCA continues to be a leader in watershed management programs, undertaken for the benefit of all residents who share a belief in the importance of the Grand, a Canadian Heritage River. The GRCA - winner of the international RiverPrize (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=33&Sub1=0&sub2=0).
01-03-2010, 05:18 AM
Massive review will prepare watershed for next 25 years of growth and change
January 17, 2008 | JEFF OUTHIT, RECORD STAFF
The Grand River is under constant strain. Can it handle another 300,000 people by 2031?
Concerned planners are launching a major review of watershed management, the biggest overhaul since 1982, to accommodate expected growth and climate change.
"We can't be complacent in light of the population growth we're going to be seeing," said Sandra Cooke, senior water quality supervisor with the Grand River Conservation Authority. "We have some tough questions to answer."
There are 950,000 people in the Grand watershed. The province has directed councils to plan for more than 1.2 million by 2031, partly as Toronto growth is restrained.
Planners will look at rehabilitation of streams and rivers, reservoir operations, removal of outdated dams, groundwater protections and water conservation. The review is to conclude in 2010.
Some who help manage the watershed doubt it can absorb the growth planned by the province.
"They're expecting us to accommodate too much growth," warns Puslinch Township Mayor Brad Whitcombe, who helps direct the conservation authority.
However, governments can't tell people not to move here, says Robert Hillier, another director of the watershed agency.
"There's no way to prevent population from moving to southern Ontario. Or at least I haven't seen one," said Hillier, of Brantford.
Residents take drinking water from the Grand as it flows from the Fergus area to Lake Erie. The river takes in runoff from farms and cities, and effluent from sewage treatment plants.
By the time the Grand reaches the lake, it has degenerated into the third-foulest river in Ontario, after rivers in Toronto and Brampton.
As bad as that sounds, the Grand is in better shape than it used to be, when raw sewage was a more common pollutant, and soil erosion was widespread.
"We have come a long way, but I do believe we have a long way to go," Cooke said.
Climate change has been making the watershed wetter since 1915. Average precipitation is up about 15 per cent. Planners figure climate change may bring more weather extremes, such as heavier dry spells and also heavier wet spells.
03-03-2010, 04:39 PM
The 2010 budget of just under $33 million, will pay the cost of GRCA programs that protect water quality, reduce flood damages, protect natural areas, support responsible development and provide outdoor recreation and environmental education.
The budget is about $1.6 million greater than in 2009 but much of the increase is due to one-time stimulus grants from the federal and provincial governments for construction projects at conservation areas.
The GRCA has three main sources of revenue:
$10 million (32 per cent) from watershed municipalities. The municipalities raise the money through their general tax rates or through charges on their water bills. The municipal levy works out to about $9.68 per person.
$8 million (25 per cent) from the provincial and federal governments. This includes regular operating grants, one-time capital grants under stimulus programs and money to pay for source water protection planning.
$13.4 million (43 per cent) in self-generated revenue such as money from campground fees, planning fees, tree sales, hydroelectricity generation, rental property income and other sources.
The budget is broken down into four sections:
Base operating budget -- $18.6 million (57 per cent). This covers the ongoing programs of the GRCA including flood prevention, environmental education, planning advice to municipalities and landowners, operation of trails, forest management and others.
About $1.4 million will be spent to complete a two-year upgrade to the Conestogo Dam near Drayton to allow it to safely discharge more water during periods of extremely high flows.
Special Programs -- $2.1 million (6 per cent). One-time projects or continuing programs that are usually paid for with money from outside sources. They include:
$700,000 for the Rural Water Quality Program which provides grants to rural landowners to take action to protect water quality on the farm. The money is provided by watershed municipalities.
$300,000 to purchase environmentally sensitive land, covered by proceeds from earlier land sales.
$100,000 for a subwatershed study for the Upper Blair Creek area in the City of Kitchener, paid for by the city.
$200,000 to continue an update of the Grand River Basin Water Management Study. This will look at three issues: water quality, water supply and flood control on a watershed basis with an emphasis on addressing issues brought about by climate change and population growth. Municipalities, Six Nations and provincial and federal agencies are also participating in the program.
Conservation Area operations -- $8.2 million (25 per cent). Fees from park users cover the entire operating cost of the GRCA's 11 active conservation areas which draw more than one million paid visits a year. In 2010 this budget also includes $2.1 million worth of infrastructure improvements at four parks. Of the total cost, about $1.6 million is offset with grants from the provincial and federal governments.
Source Water Protection program -- $4.1 million (12 per cent). The cost of this program is covered entirely by provincial grants. The program is developing source water protection programs under the Clean Water Act in four watersheds Grand River, Long Point Region, Catfish Creek and Kettle Creek to implement recommendations of the Walkerton Inquiry.
Click here to see the 2010 budget (http://www.grandriver.ca/governance/2010Budget.pdf)
Click here to see the 2008 audited financial statements (http://www.grandriver.ca/grca/2008_Audited_Financials.pdf)
03-03-2010, 04:43 PM
Grand River Photos Looking East @ Freeport Bridge - March 1, 2010
04-22-2010, 09:58 AM
GRCA planting 451,000 trees this spring
April 18, 2010 | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=538)
The earth has good reason to be happy this spring because Grand River Conservation Authority, its clients and partners are planting close to half a million trees this spring. In fact, the 451,000 trees going in the ground this year is nearly six times more than the 77,000 trees planted in 2007.
Interest in tree planting is increasing and there is more financial help available for people and organizations that want to increase forest cover. About 177,000 trees will go onto GRCA-owned land, such as conservation areas and natural areas. This includes trees that will be planted by the public at the Brant Tree Coalition Tree Plant April 22, Guelph Rotary Forest at Guelph Lake on Saturday April 24, Chilligo Restoration project in Cambridge April 25, at Conestogo Conservation Area clean up and tree planting day May 1, Upper Grand Trailway Tree Planting Day in Grand Valley also May 1 and Waterloo Earth Fest on Saturday May 8. (Note: For details on these events, please see below.)
The GRCA carries out numerous tree planting projects on both private and GRCA-owned property each spring. But most trees being ordered through the GRCA will go on private land — about 256,000 this spring. Plantings on private land are paid for by the property owners who require the service. If eligible, these costs may be offset by programs such as the Rural Water Quality Program.
“It is really great to see that individuals are taking action to improve the health of the watershed,” said Anne Loeffler, a GRCA conservation specialist. “I work with them every day and I am really inspired by their commitment. Fortunately we have a wider range of funding programs to help them.”
“Tree planting is definitely going in the right direction — up,” said Martin Neumann, supervisor of terrestrial resources for the GRCA. He likes to list the many benefits of trees which go a long way towards creating a healthy environment, minimizing water problems and they are good for all living creatures. Plus, he likes to add, they are beautiful to look at.
In the mid 1980s, the GRCA planted a million trees a year, so we still have a long way to go to get back up to those numbers. The drop in tree planting was because the province cut funding for trees and closed the provincial tree nurseries.
But Neumann says tree planting numbers don’t tell the entire story. Now tree planting projects are more complex, with a wider range of native tree species being planted to increase biodiversity. Bigger trees are being planted, not just small seedlings but saplings which have a greater chance of survival. The GRCA has also adopted the practice of “direct seeding” in some projects, especially for oaks, hickories and walnuts. These numbers are not included in the tree tally mentioned previously. Native herbaceous seed mixes are being sown as a companion planting for young seedlings, and more emphasis is also being placed on restoring wetlands, prairies, and savannas – all part of a healthier and more sustainable environment. Many other trees are being planted through municipal or private initiatives.
“Imagine how much we could accomplish if we collectively set our minds to it,” Neumann said. The more companies, families, organizations and rural landowners who turn their attention to trees, the healthier the landscape will be for the next generation.
For more information on tree planting for this fall or spring 2011, call 519-621- 2763 ext. 2269. Tree planting events:
Brant Tree Coalition Tree Plant
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Brantford, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Brant Tree Coalition will be planting 5,000 native trees and bushed on Earth Day April 22. The plantings will take place along Sinclair Creek in the northeast part of the city. Park along Garden Avenue and Sinclair Boulevard, or at the Tim Hortons service station. The coalition is an industry-led group and hopes to build upon the support it received from several area high schools in 2009. For information or to participate, contact Jim Berhalter at Apotex 519-756-8942.
Guelph Rotary Forest Earth Day
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Guelph Lake Nature Centre, Guelph 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Residents of Guelph and area are developing a 40-acre forest at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Although the focus of the events is planting trees, there are also creepy creature shows, earth day crafts, music and vendor tents. Some shovels will be provided so planters are encouraged to bring their own. Groups are welcome to participate. Challenge your co-workers, your neighbours, your class and your family.
There is no charge for admission and there will be free refreshments. Visitors can bring their own mugs or purchase a Rotary Forest souvenir mug for $2.Parking will be available at the Lakeside Church on Conservation Road. Guelph Transit buses will provide shuttle service from the parking lot to the Earth Day Event site. There will also be free shuttle buses leaving from St. George Square in downtown Guelph every 30 minutes. The new forest will eventually be home to 65,000 trees.
Tree Planting and Dedication
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Chilligo Restoration Area, Cambridge 1:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A tree planting event begins at 1:30 p.m. and a dedication at 3 p.m. to celebrate the thousands of hours of planning and effort that have gone into making the new ponds such a great centre of the community. If you, your family or your group are interested in tree planting, please call 519-621-2763 ext. 2295.
Tree Planting & Clean Up Day
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Conestogo Lake Conservation Area, Glen Allen, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Help clean up the park and plant trees. Members of the GRC’'s forestry department will demonstrate proper tree planting techniques. Entertainment to be announced. Admission to the park is free for Scout groups but park admission applies for other visitors.
Upper Grand Trailway Tree Planting Day
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Upper Grand Trailway, Grand Valley 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Come to the trailway parking lot. Please wear gloves and boots and bring a shovel if you have one! Come and plant trees or build and erect a birdhouse. The GRCA will provide a planting demonstration and trees are courtesy of the GRCA and the Upper Grand Restoration Fund. Lunch is provided by the Grand Valley Lions Club. High school students please note that this event qualifies as community service time. For more information, please call Kim 519-928-2973 or Vada 519-928-2841.
Waterloo Earth Day
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Waterloo 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Waterloo Earth Day is a free fun-filled day of family activities with an environmental theme. Join us to dig in and plant 1,000 trees and shrubs or enjoy some hands-on activities such as building a bird box and drumming with Creation Africa. School Challenge: Waterloo Region schools who register the most participants will receive an environmental prize for their school. -30- Further information: Dave Schultz, GRCA Manager of Communications Phone: (519) 621-2763, Ext. 2273 Cell: (519) 658-3896 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.grandriver.ca
04-26-2010, 05:59 AM
UPPER BLAIR CREEK ANNUAL MONITORING PROGRAM
DTS Committee, Chair - Christina Weylie
Date of Report: April 14, 2010 | Date of Meeting: April 26, 2010
Submitted By: K. Grant Murphy, P.Eng, Director of Engineering
Prepared By: Nick Gollan (x2422) / Binu Korah (x2974), Engineering
Ward(s) Involved: 4 – South Ward
Report No.: DTS-10- 081 (http://www.kitchener.ca/Files/Item/item18897_dts-10-081.pdf)
RECOMMENDATION: That Council approve the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) to carry out the Long Term Annual Monitoring Program in the amount $522,000.00 in accordance with the approved Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd., dated March 2009.
BACKGROUND: In 2003, the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study (FDS) was started in cooperation with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener. The Upper Blair Creek FDS was approved by Council on February 9, 2009 The study dealt with the technical issues related to hydrogeological and hydrological conditions of the watershed and the associated stormwater management measures that could be implemented to minimize changes from the current condition.
In 2003, the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study (FDS) was started in cooperation with the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA), the Region of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener. The City took the lead in completing the study. In 2004 a Technical Steering Committee was formed which included the GRCA, the Region, the City, and members of the Waterloo Region Homebuilders Association (WRHBA). Stantec Consultants were retained to complete the Upper Blair Creek FDS with extensive monitoring, research and analysis taking place along with consultation with the public, development industry and other government agencies.
The Upper Blair Creek FDS deals with the technical issues pertaining to the hydrologic and hydrogeologic characteristics of the subwatershed existing conditions and a range of post- development conditions and associated stormwater management (SWM) measures that can be implemented to minimize the changes from current conditions.
With the support of the detailed analysis, it was the conclusion of this Study that typical, urban development densities accompanied by a multi-component, infiltration-focussed SWM strategy can be implemented within the Upper Blair Creek subwatershed, and achieves the objectives as outlined in the governing watershed study (BBB).
It was recommended that the comprehensive monitoring, maintenance, and mitigation program outlined in Section 6 in the FDS be implemented as a means of confirming existing background characteristics, design assumptions contained herein and within future model updates, and minimize the potential for negative impacts on the receiving system.
The development of a comprehensive Monitoring, Maintenance, and Mitigation (MMM) program has been designed to provide all stakeholders with sufficient physical data to assess any ecological, hydrological, hydrogeological, or geomorphological impacts related to the development within the Upper Blair Creek drainage area, identify the source of such impacts, and adopt a strategy to reverse, eliminate, or minimize the potential for future repetition.
In summary, staff from the City of Kitchener have supported the technical findings of the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, approved in its entirety by Council (see Report DTS-09-010), and now recommend that the monitoring program designed by the GRCA based on the Upper Blair FDS with additional input from the GRCA and the City of Kitchener be implemented.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: The Upper Blair Creek monitoring program was identified in the 2009 Development Charge Background Study. The ongoing monitoring program for the Upper Blair Creek will be funded from the Development Charges, Upper Blair Creek Monitoring account #59500643. In accordance with the 2009 capital forecast there is a balance of $145,642.00 remaining for 2010. Further the 2009 to 2019 ten year capital forecast allocated a total of $1,219,000 to complete this program from the development charge funds. The total cost to complete the monitoring program is $522,000.00 (excluding HST) to the end of 2013.
CONCLUSION: In summary, staff from the City of Kitchener have supported the technical findings of the Upper Blair Creek Functional Drainage Study, approved in its entirety by Council (see Report DTS-09-010), and now recommend that the monitoring program designed by the GRCA based on the Upper Blair FDS with additional input from the GRCA and the City of Kitchener be implemented.Therefore staff recommend that the GRCA be appointed in the amount of $522,000.00 (excluding HST) to complete the Long Term Monitoring Program to the end of 2013.
04-28-2010, 09:32 AM
GRCA parks ready to open on April 30
April 27, 2010
Most Grand River Conservation Authority Parks will open for the season on Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m.
The GRCA operates 11 conservation areas, eight of which offer camping, with about 2,500 camping sites. Other activities include hiking, fishing, canoe/kayaking and swimming.
Opening on April 30 will be Belwood, Byng Island (Dunnville), Brant (Brantford), Pinehurst (Paris), Laurel Creek (Waterloo), Conestogo (Drayton), Guelph Lake, Elora Gorge, Rockwood and Shade’s Mills (Cambridge).
One other park, Elora Quarry, will open in mid-June.
A season-long alcohol ban is in effect at Elora Gorge. Early season bans, from May 21 (Victoria Day weekend) to June 26, will be in place at Byng Island, Guelph Lake and Laurel Creek. Alcohol is banned in all parks during the Victoria Day and Labour Day weekends.
Vehicle season passes are available for an early season rate of $95 until June 30. This pass gets a vehicle full of people into any park for no additional charge throughout the 2010 operating season.
Further information: Cameron Linwood, GRCA Communications Co-ordinator
Phone: (519) 621-2763, Ext. 2251
Fax: (519) 621-4844
E-mail: Cameron Linwood (email@example.com)
04-30-2010, 12:27 PM
Forest will rise from suburban cornfield
April 29, 2010 | Terry Pender, Record Staff | Link (http://news.therecord.com/News/Local/article/703936)
KITCHENER —Martin Neumann walks carefully around the freshly planted tree seedlings in an old farm field next to the Grand River — small steps on a long journey to re-establish a Carolinian Forest.
Neumann, a supervisor with the Grand River Conservation Authority, watches tree planters working Wednesday morning not far from the Pioneer Memorial Tower in south Kitchener.
“This project is to re-establish a flood plain forest with the species that were originally here,” Neumann said.
Last year, corn grew on this nine-hectare (23-acre) site. Planters are now putting in black walnuts, silver and sugar maples, white and burr oaks, cottonwoods, white cedars and white pines.
During the winter, the area was seeded with smaller, non-woody plants that will protect the small trees.
The cover plants include brown-eyed susans.
Evening primrose and swamp milkweed are also on the list.
About 15,000 trees will be planted here. In total, the Conservation Authority will plant 451,000 seedlings throughout the watershed this spring.
“That 451,000 is a fivefold increase over just a few years ago,” Neumann said. “It sounds like a lot of trees, but it is a large area we need to do.”
The Grand River flows for about 300 kilometres, from the Dufferin Country highlands in the north to Port
Maitland on Lake Erie.
Neumann is pumped.
A few years ago Trees Ontario, a non-profit organization that flows money from the provincial government and private donors, started pumping a lot more money into tree planting across Ontario.
Trees Ontario provided $30,000 for this planting.
Once the seedlings are in the watching begins.
“In any planting like this we are totally dependent on natural rainfall,” Neumann said. “That is probably the biggest challenge, re-establishing a forest through drought conditions.”
The maples planted on this site are saplings with material wrapped around the skinny trunks for protection.
Meadow voles are the biggest threat to the small trees.
Rabbits, deer and gypsy moths also kill large numbers of small trees.
“All four of those critters are looking for the maples, not the pines,” Neumann said.
That’s why pines are so popular on some reforestation projects. But in trying to recreate the original Carolinian Forest the conservation authority must select seedlings that are more vulnerable to the animals that can kill young trees.
The Pioneers Memorial Tower and nearby cemetery are dramatic reminders of the first white settlers to arrive in this area in 1800—Joseph Sherk and his wife Elizabeth Betzner, Samuel Betzner and his wife Maria Detweiler.
The farms spread from the banks on the Grand River, laying waste to the original forest. By 1900, forest cover was down to five per cent and all the surrounding wetlands were drained.
Without the forest the watershed started falling apart, Dave Shultz, the GRCA’s spokesperson, said.
Trees shaded the snow and slowed the spring melt. Trees also suck up a lot of water. Wetlands held back a lot of the spring melt, slowly releasing it into the river. Shaded by an old Carolinian Forest the river had lots of water all year long and brook trout lived and spawned in the tree-shaded creeks.
That all changed. From 1900 to 1930, floods occurred almost annually.
“You would have these big floods in the spring and just a trickle in the summer and most of that trickle was untreated sewage,” Shultz said.
During the 1930s, the forerunner of the GRCA started planting trees. It has planted 26 million trees since then and increased the forest cover on southern Ontario’s biggest watershed to 19 per cent.
“The goal is 30 per cent forest cover, which Environment Canada says you need for a healthy watershed,” Shultz said.
02-19-2011, 08:04 AM
Flood watch in effect because of possibility of ice jams
February 17, 2011 | GRCA | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=580)
Water levels are expected to remain high throughout the weekend. The return of freezing conditions on Friday evening will create dangerous icy conditions along river banks. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from lakes and watercourses during the holiday weekend.
Conditions will be monitored closely over the next few days. Flood messages will be issued as necessary as this event unfolds.
02-19-2011, 10:00 PM
Flood watch continues through central and southern watershed
Flood advisory message #2 @ 10:30 a.m.
February 19, 2011 | GRCA | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=582)
A heavy melt of the watershed snowpack occurred on Thursday and Friday. Below freezing temperatures have returned to the watershed, however flows currently in the river channels will continue to work their way downstream throughout the weekend. The risk of ice jams continues.
Gauges in the headwaters portions of watersheds have currently peaked and are receding.
Central and lower portions of the rivers will continue to see increases and elevated levels throughout the weekend.
River levels are generally observed to be below flood thresholds, however there is the continued potential for ice jam flooding to occur without warning throughout the system including New Hamburg and Ayr on the Nith River. Residents are urged to not park vehicles in low lying and common flooding areas. Municipal flood co-ordinators should continue to be on standby and respond to any situations as they develop.
The return to freezing temperatures has created dangerous icy conditions along river banks. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from lakes and watercourses and especially any remaining ice cover areas during the holiday weekend.
Conditions will be monitored closely over the next few days. Flood messages will be issued as necessary as this event unfolds.
03-02-2011, 10:10 AM
GRCA budget shows modest increase for 2011
March 1, 2011 | GRCA | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=586)
The board of the Grand River Conservation Authority has approved a 2011 budget which calls for a modest increase in spending over last year.
The budget calls for expenditures of $33.6 million (compared to $33.4 million in 2010) to pay the cost of programs that protect water quality, reduce flood damages, preserve and improve natural areas, support responsible development and provide outdoor recreation and environmental education.
The budget was approved by the GRCA board at its annual meeting on Feb. 25. The board is made up of 26 members appointed by municipalities throughout the Grand River watershed.
Jane Mitchell, chair of the board, said it was a "hard budget year" for the GRCA. Municipalities had to pick up more of the cost of operations because some provincial grants have been frozen for years, she pointed out.
"Members worked hard this year to lower the percentage increase" of the municipal share of the budget, she said.
"With a provincial election looming, we must make our elected provincial representatives understand the importance of water quality and quantity and flood control. It must not take a serious incident to make them pay attention."
About $9.47 million, or 28 per cent of the cost of operating the GRCA in 2011, will come from residents of the watershed who pay either through their local property taxes or their municipal water bills. That works out to about $9.90 per person. Overall, the amount charged to municipalities will rise three per cent compared to 2010.
The GRCA will bring in revenues of about $13.3 million (40 per cent) from fees charged for services ranging from camping to planning. The GRCA also raises revenue from land rentals, hydroelectricity generation and payments by school boards for outdoor education programs.
Government grants, mostly from the provincial government, will amount to $8.3 million this year (25 per cent of the budget). The bulk of that money, about $4.6 million, is being spent on development of source water protection plans under the Clean Water Act. The plans are scheduled to be completed in 2012. Other government grants cover part of the cost of core programs such as flood warning and dam maintenance.
The remainder of the budget, about $2.5 million (seven per cent), comes from GRCA reserve funds which consist of money set aside in earlier years.
Some notable projects scheduled for 2011 include:
Planning the reconstruction of the Drimmie Dam in downtown Elora. The dam is a scenic highlight of the historic community and also supplies water to a privately-owned hydro plant. If approved, the project would cost $1.2 million with the GRCA paying one-third of the cost. The Township of Centre Wellington and the provincial government may also contribute to the project.
Continuing a three-year project to develop a watershed-wide Water Management Plan that looks at flooding, water quality and water supply issues. Cost this year is estimated at $320,000.
Completion of a major upgrade to Conestogo Dam near Drayton to improve its capacity to safely handle high flows.
Completion of three infrastructure projects under the federal-provincial stimulus program: new washrooms at Elora Gorge and Guelph Lake conservation areas and a new gatehouse at Brant Conservation Area.
Construction of a new workshop at the Conestogo Lake Conservation Area
Completion of a project to restore the Harris Mill ruins in Rockwood Conservation Area. This project was paid largely by a federal government grant.
Watershed studies of the Upper Blair Creek area in Kitchener and the Hopewell-Chilligo subwatershed near Kitchener and Cambridge.
Investment of $745,000 in projects to protect water on the farm through the Rural Water Quality Program.
Purchase of environmentally significant lands worth $300,000.
03-04-2011, 01:44 PM
High water safety bulletin - March 4 @ 10:30 a.m.
March 4, 2011 | GRCA | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=587)
The low pressure system moving into Ontario today has the potential for significant rainfall before the low moves out of the area Sunday.
Forecast amounts of rain vary from 25 to 60 mm with potential for locally higher amounts. The rain will be accompanied by temperatures of up to 8C, which will persist until an expected return to freezing conditions on Sunday.
The forecast weather system will cause melting of the snow pack and runoff to watercourses. The runoff will cause river levels to rise through the weekend. The forecast amounts of rain in combination with snowmelt has the potential to cause river banks to overtop.
Ice conditions are variable throughout the watershed. Considerable ice movement occurred during the flow event on the Family Day Weekend which cleared out ice through much of the upper reaches of the river system but also left many small ice jams.
There is potential for additional ice movement and ice jams to develop or escalate where they currently exist including New Hamburg, Wolverton and Brantford. Ice sheets are still intact through several river reaches including West Montrose and the southern Grand River downstream of Brantford. Municipal Flood Co-ordinators have been advised to prepare to respond to situations as they develop.
Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with cold, fast-moving water and the quick freezing conditions, pose a serious hazard.
Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses and off frozen water bodies at this time.
Conditions will be monitored closely over the next few days. Flood messages will be issued as necessary as this event unfolds.
03-06-2011, 04:00 PM
Flood Warning Message #2
March 6, 2011 | GRCA | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=589)
Yesterday’s heavy rainfall and higher temperatures began to subside late Saturday evening with the arrival of a cold front. Despite the quick freeze and transition to snow, river levels along the lower Grand and Nith Rivers will continue to rise today as runoff from the northern portions of the watershed flow downstream.
Nith River flows are expected to peak in New Hamburg on Sunday morning slightly below Level 1.
Nith River levels will crest in Ayr on Monday morning with flooding of low lying areas. Residents along Tanner and Piper streets are advised to monitor river levels and not to park vehicles in low lying areas overnight.
Grand River levels will crest in Brantford on Sunday morning but remain high through the day on Monday as the Nith River peak passes through.
As river levels rise, there is potential for large amounts of ice to jam and cause localized flooding. At this time, the potential for ice jam flooding is highest in the southern Grand River through Brantford, Six Nations and Haldimand, with the highest potential in Cayuga if the ice goes out above the Caledonia Dam. Residents along the river should be prepared for unpredictable but rapidly changing water levels. Levels in the Cayuga and Dunnville reaches of the Grand River are expected to peak early Monday and remain high through Tuesday.
The Canadian Coast Guard ship “CCGS Griffon” is now scheduled to be in Port Maitland on Monday to reduce the potential for ice jam flooding at the mouth of the Grand River.
04-21-2011, 07:05 PM
High Water Safety Bulletin #1
April 21, 2011 | Link (http://www.grandriver.ca/Newsroom/News.cfm?id=585)
Caution urged around rivers & streams this weekend
Cool and wet conditions over the past week have elevated runoff to rivers and streams throughout the Grand River watershed. Reservoir discharges have also been increased to maintain reservoir storage capacity. As a result, local river and stream flows will be higher than normal throughout the Easter long weekend.
The current forecast for the upcoming weekend indicates up to 30mm of additional rainfall which will further impact river flows.
Municipal Flood Co-ordinators should be on standby and prepare to respond to situations as they develop.
Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and when combined with cold, fast-moving water, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from watercourses at this time. Recreational users on the river should be aware that with reservoir discharges and increased flows, conditions can change rapidly and without warning.
For more information on river flows, see the River Data (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=2&Sub1=0&sub2=0) of the GRCA web site.
For information on the Flood Warning system see the Flood Warning System (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=76&Sub1=1) page.
Download a copy of a river safety pamphlet for children (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=19&Sub1=0&sub2=0).
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