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6.0 Jock River-Barrhaven Catchment: Challenges/Issues

Water Quality/Quantity

Surface chemistry water quality rating in the Jock River is “Fair” over two reporting periods (2004-2009 and 2010-2015). Frequent high nutrient concentrations and occasional exceedances of copper and aluminium contributed to the rating

Instream biological water quality conditions at the Jock River Barrhaven sample location range from “ Poor” to “Good” from 2004 to 2015 (using a grading scheme developed by Ontario Conservation Authorities in Ontario for benthic invertebrates) with an overall benthic invertebrate water quality rating of  “Good” determined for this period

Effect of climate change on the hydrologic function (water budget) of the Jock River subwatershed and associated natural hazards (flood risk) posed to the built/urban areas of the catchment are not understood

Existing hydrological and geochemical datasets and assessments (academic, RVCA, others) are only recently available and/or are not being considered in the characterization of the numerous hydrologic functions of the Jock River subwatershed. Further, there is a dearth of hydrologic information (hydroperiod, groundwater/surface water interactions, geochemistry) about the wetlands that remain in the Jock River subwatershed

Headwaters/Instream/Shorelines

‘Natural’ vegetation covers 21percent of the riparian zone of the Jock River and its tributaries (Figure 60) and is below the recommended 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated target along 75 percent of the length of the catchment’s watercourses

Hearts Desire weir is a seasonal impediment to fish movement along the Jock River and can fragment/isolate fish populations

Land Cover

Woodlands cover 11 percent of the catchment and is below the 30 percent of forest cover that is identified as the minimum threshold for sustaining forest birds and other woodland dependent species (Figure 58)

Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 99 percent and now cover less than one percent (14 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 59)