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6.0 Nichols Creek Catchment: Challenges/Issues

Water Quality/Quantity

Surface chemistry water quality in Nichols Creek is “Fair” due to occasional high nutrient concentrations and bacterial pollution

Instream biological water quality conditions at the Nichols Creek sample location range from “Fair” to “ Poor” 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

Natural hazard lands have not been identified

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

Land Cover

Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 24 percent and now cover 43 percent (2023 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 47). Nineteen percent (385 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