GeoSolutions Consulting along with the City of Ottawa, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, and Robinson's Consultants are undertaking the study to develop a long term environmental strategy to protect, enhance and/or restore environmental quality to the Carp River watershed.
At the present time there is no mechanism for evaluating the cumulative effects of land uses on water resources and environmental quality on a watershed basis. Nor are there any criteria for prioritizing among water uses. This situation largely exists because responsibility for land use and water resource planning falls within the mandate of a number of public authorities, each with varying levels of interest and differing management objectives. Watershed plans become an integral part of the overall planning process, and if successfully completed should provide a solid foundation such that the environmental features will be protected, enhanced or restored under present conditions, and as land use changes occur. Information derived from the watershed/subwatershed plan will ultimately be incorporated into planning documents as the basis of environmentally conscious land use designations and development policies.
The project will develop watershed and subwatershed plans. These plans are similar to Official Plans, but for environmental use. Once the plans are completed, they will provide an environmentally sound framework within which those involved in planning and decision-making can evaluate the consequences of current land use and future development scenarios in the context of the entire watershed.
Presently, watershed and subwatershed plans deal with a number of issues including:
Furthermore, the plans are ecosystem base, with the potential interaction between each of the environmental features being strongly considered.
The project team has met with the public and project sponsors. The first meeting in May 2001 focused on the current state of the watershed. A second public meeting in November examined recommendations on how to mitigate present and future problems. These recommendations will assist in the development of remedial actions or pilot projects. The Next meeting will explore methods to implement specific corrective actions.