The purpose of the Conservation Authority Watershed Report Cards is to report on the health of watersheds through the use of key environmental indicators. They are a management and evaluation tool, which:
Conservation authorities plan and deliver programs and services on a watershed basis. Monitoring and reporting are critical elements of a successful integrated watershed management approach.
Watershed report cards are a successful way to deliver a vast amount of technical information in a readily understandable and interesting way. The Conservation Authority Watershed Report Cards are designed to be an ongoing product and report once every five years. The first set of report cards were launched in 2013.
While they don’t track climate change impacts specifically, conservation authority watershed report cards report on surface water quality, groundwater quality and forest conditions. These indicators reflect watershed conditions which are being impacted by climate change, rapid urbanization and a growing population. They help us to understand the reality of the watershed conditions we face, identifying areas to protect and issues to address.
Conservation Authorities are watershed management experts. They’ve been tracking conditions across Ontario’s watersheds for decades. They have become intimately acquainted with our rivers, lakes and streams. They work collaboratively to build up the diversity of our forests and identify vulnerable or important ecosystems in addition to protecting important surface and groundwater sources of drinking water.
Conservation Authorities make good use of investments made by all levels of government and other partners in nature-based programs such as green infrastructure, stewardship initiatives, stormwater management projects, tree planting, rural water quality programs and many more. Additional support would increase the outcomes from this work.