5.0 Flowing Creek Catchment: Stewardship and Water Resources Protection
The RVCA and its partners are working to protect and enhance environmental conditions in the Jock River Subwatershed. Figure 36 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Flowing Creek catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
5.1 Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2010 to 2015, two well decommissionings, one windbreak buffer and one precision farming project were completed. Between 2004 and 2009, two crop residue projects, two well upgrades, one septic system replacement, one well decommissioning, one livestock fencing and one clean water diversion were completed. Prior to 2004, four livestock fencing projects, one milkhouse wastewater treatment facility, one manure storage/wastewater runoff project and one crop residue project were completed. Six of these projects were completed within the 30 metre riparian zone of Flowing Creek and tributaries. Total value of all 19 projects is $125,040 with $40,796 of that amount funded through grant dollars from the RVCA.
5.2 Private Land Forestry Projects
The location of RVCA tree planting projects is shown in Figure 36. From 2010 to 2015, 1,000 trees were planted at one site. Between 2004 and 2009, 11,700 trees were planted at two sites and prior to 2004, 91,040 trees were planted at 18 sites. In total, 103,740 trees were planted, resulting in the reforestation of 54 hectares. Three of these projects were completed within the 30 metre riparian zone of Flowing Creek and tributaries. Total value of all 21 projects is $353,576 with $119,765 of that amount coming from fundraising sources.
Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 50 butternut trees were planted in the Rideau Creek catchment (Figure 36) between 2004 and 2015, as part of efforts to introduce healthy seedlings from tolerant butternuts into various locations across Eastern Ontario.
5.3 Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Lands
The Flowing Creek catchment covers 50.4 square kilometres with 4.6 square kilometres (or nine percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 37), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
Wetlands occupy 4.7 sq. km. (or nine percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 3.1 sq. km (or 65 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 1.6 sq. km (or 35 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 106.5 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 13.7 kilometers of streams (representing 13 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (9.2 km or nine percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 4.6 km (or 33 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 92.7 km (or 87 percent) of streams requires identification of flood and erosion hazards and valley systems.
Within those areas of the Flowing Creek catchment subject to the regulation (limit), efforts (have been made and) continue through RVCA planning and regulations input and review to manage the impact of development (and other land management practices) in areas where “natural hazards” are associated with rivers, streams, valley lands and wetlands. For areas beyond the regulation limit, protection of the catchment’s watercourses is only provided through the “alteration to waterways” provision of the regulation.
5.4 Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas
The Wellhead Protection Area around the Richmond (King’s Park) municipal drinking water source extends into the Flowing Creek drainage catchment. This area is subject to mandatory policies in the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan developed under the Clean Water Act. These policies specifically regulate land uses and activities that are considered drinking water threats, thereby reducing the risk of contamination of the municipal drinking water source.
The Flowing Creek drainage catchment is also considered to have a Highly Vulnerable Aquifer. This means that the nature of the overburden (thin soils, fractured bedrock) does not provide a high level of protection for the underlying groundwater making the aquifer more vulnerable to contaminants released on the surface. The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan includes policies that focus on the protection of groundwater region-wide due to the fact that most of the region, which encompasses the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds, is considered Highly Vulnerable Aquifer.
A large portion of the central part of this catchment area is also considered a Significant Groundwater Recharge Area. This means that there is a volume of water moving from the surface into the ground and groundwater serves either as a municipal drinking water source or supplies a coldwater ecosystem such as a brook trout stream. The Plan was not required to include policies to specifically address Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas.
For detailed maps and policies that have been developed to protect drinking water sources, please go to the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region website at www.mrsourcewater.ca to view the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan.