5.0 Hobbs Drain 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 26 shows the location of all stewardship projects completed in the Hobbs Drain catchment along with sites identified for potential shoreline restoration.
5.1 Rural Clean Water Projects
From 2010 to 2015, one well decommissioning was completed and between 2004 and 2009, two well upgrades and one septic system replacement were completed. Total value of the four projects is $24,594 with $3,684 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 26. From 2010 to 2015, 5,000 trees were planted at one site. Between 2004 and 2009, 2,700 trees were planted at two sites and prior to 2004, 16,350 trees were planted at five sites, In total, 24,050 trees were planted resulting in the reforestation of 12 hectares. One of these projects was completed within the 30 metre riparian zone of the Hobbs Drain. Total project value of all eight projects is $82,426 with $30,779 of that amount coming from fundraising sources.
Through the RVCA Butternut Recovery Program, an additional 10 butternut trees were planted in the Hobbs Drain catchment (Figure 26) between 2010 and 2015, as part of efforts to introduce healthy seedlings from tolerant butternuts into various locations across Eastern Ontario.
5.3 Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Projects
Figure 26 shows the location of all Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program (ODWSP) projects in the Hobbs Drain catchment. From 2010 to 2015, five fuel handling and storage facilities were constructed at a total value of $29,108 with $3,569 of that amount funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
5.4 Valley, Stream, Wetland and Hazard Lands
The Hobbs Drain catchment covers 32 square kilometres with 4.5 square kilometres (or 14 percent) of the drainage area being within the regulation limit of Ontario Regulation 174/06 (Figure 27), giving protection to wetland areas and river or stream valleys that are affected by flooding and erosion hazards.
Wetlands occupy 7.6 sq. km. (or 24 percent) of the catchment. Of these wetlands, 4.2 sq. km (or 56 percent) are designated as provincially significant and included within the RVCA regulation limit. This leaves the remaining 3.3 sq. km (or 44 percent) of wetlands in the catchment outside the regulated area limit.
Of the 65.8 kilometres of stream in the catchment, regulation limit mapping has been plotted along 11.8 kilometers of streams (representing 18 percent of all streams in the catchment). Some of these regulated watercourses (9.7 km or 15 percent of all streams) flow through regulated wetlands; the remaining 2.1 km (or 18 percent) of regulated streams are located outside of those wetlands. Plotting of the regulation limit on the remaining 54 km (or 82 percent) of streams requires identification of flood and erosion hazards and valley systems.
Within those areas of the Hobbs Drain 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.
5.5 Vulnerable Drinking Water Areas
A portion of the Wellhead Protection Area around the Munster municipal drinking water source is located within the Hobbs Drain 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 Hobbs Drain 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.
The lands immediately to the west and north of Munster Hamlet are 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.