An adequate water supply is critical for all life. Cataraqui Conservation monitors and reports on water quality and quantity throughout our watershed. In conjunction with the Province of Ontario, we operate a water quality monitoring program in local lakes and rivers. Water and benthic invertebrate samples are collected by staff at various stations around the 11 watersheds that comprise the Cataraqui Region. Information collected helps staff asses and track the health of our watershed and ever five years, along with other conservation authorities, we produce a Watershed Report Card that summarizes the state of our forests, surface water, and groundwater resources.

benthic  monitoring

we monitor:

  • 9 stream gauges to measure water levels and flows
  • 9 rain gauge stations to measure precipitation
  • 7 snow course survey sites to measure snow depth
  • 14 surface water monitoring stations with the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network
  • 7 ground water monitoring stations with the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network
  • 10 monitoring stations for aquatic insect indicators with the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network
  • 1 climate station to measure air and soil temperatures, wind speed, humidity and wind direction

Water Quantity Monitoring

Cataraqui Conservation staff and Environment Canada maintain 9 stream gauges that continually measure water levels and flows on creeks in the Cataraqui Region. Gauges are located on: Buells Creek, Collins Creek, Little Cataraqui Creek (west branch), Lyn Creek, Lyndhurst Creek, Millhaven Creek (near Millhaven and in Sydenham), and Wilton Creek. Staff also measure precipitation and snow depth and quality at nine rain gauges and seven snowcourse survey sites.

Water Quality Monitoring

Water quality is monitoring through a number of different programs in our region. Chemical analysis of surface water (lakes, rivers and streams) from 14 locations around the region is analyzed monthly during ice-free conditions. This is done under the Ministry of the Environment's Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network.

water sample bottle

Benthic macroinvertebrates are also collected and identified throughout the year and 10 stations in the region. These are insects such as dragonflies, mayflies and leeches that spend some or all of their life in the water. These insects provide a good indicator of the quality of the water. A large population of benthic macroinvertebrates means that the stream or river is healthy.

Groundwater quality is also monitored at seven wells in the region through the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network. Cataraqui Conservation maintains records of each of these wells and is able to evaluate long-term trends through their analysis.