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6.0 Jock River-Richmond Catchment: Challenges/Issues

Water Quality/Quantity

Surface chemistry water quality in the Jock River within the Jock River-Richmond catchment is “Fair” over two reporting periods (2004-2009 and 2010-2015). The score at this site reflects few exceedances across measured parameters with occasional instances of elevated nutrients and bacterial counts

Instream biological water quality conditions at the Jock River Richmond sample location range from “ Poor” to “Fair” 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 “Fairly Poor” determined for this period

Effect of the Richmond sewage lagoons on Jock River surface water quality conditions needs to be understood

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 Village of Richmond are not understood, including the flood risk associated with proposed subdivision development on the west side of Richmond that remains unresolved

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 45 percent of the riparian zone of the Jock River and its tributaries (Figure 66) and is below the recommended 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated target along 75 percent of the length of the catchment’s watercourses

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

Land Cover

Woodlands cover 17 percent of the catchment and is less than the 30 percent of forest cover that is identified as the minimum threshold for sustaining forest birds and other woodland dependent species (Figure 64)

Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 74 percent and now cover 15 percent (476 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 65). Forty percent (191 ha.) of these wetlands remain unevaluated/unregulated and are vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them for the many important hydrological, social, biological and ecological functions/services/values they provide to landowners and the surrounding community

Jock River Catchments