Phase One Projects: Evaluating Existing Condition in the Watershed

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Task Force Establishment

Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management

The early phase of IWM involves collecting information about the existing conditions in the watershed. There is a significant amount of existing data on the Muskoka River Watershed, but it is in varying formats and across disparate organizations and requires various types of analysis to be useful for this initiative. For this reason, the District Municipality of Muskoka has engaged key local, and subject matter experts to be part of a series of technical working groups (i.e., Task Force) to assist in the characterization of the watershed. By design, these Task Forces are intra-disciplinary, each focusing on water quantity, water quality, or land/terrestrial detail. Task Force members will participate in the development of project scope, reviewing project deliverables, addressing technical questions as they arise.

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Phase One Projects evaluate the existing conditions of the Muskoka River Watershed. This phase will start in July, continue through August 2022, and includes retaining consultants to carry out the projects described below. The results of these projects will be posted on the District of Muskoka website.

Hydrological Model

Develop a model that incorporates the ecological structure and dynamics of the Muskoka River Watershed and characterizes its functions, such as:

  • How floods originate and how they are distributed across the Watershed

  • What cost-benefits are associated with watershed management actions

  • The influence of climate change and land use on flood potential; and

  • Scenarios for determining the best location and types of flood storage infrastructure (i.e., expanding wetlands and forest blocks)

The hydrological model will build on existing information and studies completed for the Muskoka River Watershed, such as:

  • Existing open-source hydrologic, hydraulic, and real-time simulation models

  • Streamflow data available from gauging stations located in the Watershed

  • Existing floodplain mapping

Operational Adjustments Study

Identify operational adjustments to inform water management planning in the Muskoka River Watershed that could reduce spring flooding, such as:

  • Mitigation strategies that focus on reducing the impacts of flooding and are responsive to where and why flooding occurs

  • Opportunities to develop and implement models and systems that could enhance the ability to predict the magnitude and timing of floods

  • Role of land use planning to minimize flood impacts and inform future land use decisions and policy

Examine Localized Structural Mitigation Measures

Explore conventional and green/natural infrastructure flood mitigation approaches for specific flood-prone areas of the Muskoka River Watershed. The structural mitigation options will include:

  • Impact of climate change on the water system and considerations for developing structural and non-structural flood mitigation tools;

  • Options for conventional and natural (green) infrastructure modifications to mitigate flooding; and

  • Identification of scope, costs, and requirements for preliminary design

Expand Floodplain Mapping

Prepare floodplain mapping across unmapped and vulnerable areas prone to flooding in the Muskoka River Watershed. This project will include:

  • Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) survey data and imagery;

  • Results of hydraulic and hydrologic investigations; and

  • Floodplain mapping for selected river reaches and lake areas.

Natural Capital Inventory

Identify, assess, inventory, and map natural capital (including water, land, air, and renewable and non-renewable resources, such as plant and animal species, forests, air, water, and soils) within the Muskoka River Watershed. This includes a mapped inventory of critical natural features such as woodlands, wetlands, watercourse, and valley lands.

Stay Informed:

To receive Integrated Watershed Management updates and to stay informed of all environmental initiatives being undertaken by the District, please subscribe to our courtesy notice list by entering your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop, or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.

Task Force Establishment

Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management

The early phase of IWM involves collecting information about the existing conditions in the watershed. There is a significant amount of existing data on the Muskoka River Watershed, but it is in varying formats and across disparate organizations and requires various types of analysis to be useful for this initiative. For this reason, the District Municipality of Muskoka has engaged key local, and subject matter experts to be part of a series of technical working groups (i.e., Task Force) to assist in the characterization of the watershed. By design, these Task Forces are intra-disciplinary, each focusing on water quantity, water quality, or land/terrestrial detail. Task Force members will participate in the development of project scope, reviewing project deliverables, addressing technical questions as they arise.

--

Phase One Projects evaluate the existing conditions of the Muskoka River Watershed. This phase will start in July, continue through August 2022, and includes retaining consultants to carry out the projects described below. The results of these projects will be posted on the District of Muskoka website.

Hydrological Model

Develop a model that incorporates the ecological structure and dynamics of the Muskoka River Watershed and characterizes its functions, such as:

  • How floods originate and how they are distributed across the Watershed

  • What cost-benefits are associated with watershed management actions

  • The influence of climate change and land use on flood potential; and

  • Scenarios for determining the best location and types of flood storage infrastructure (i.e., expanding wetlands and forest blocks)

The hydrological model will build on existing information and studies completed for the Muskoka River Watershed, such as:

  • Existing open-source hydrologic, hydraulic, and real-time simulation models

  • Streamflow data available from gauging stations located in the Watershed

  • Existing floodplain mapping

Operational Adjustments Study

Identify operational adjustments to inform water management planning in the Muskoka River Watershed that could reduce spring flooding, such as:

  • Mitigation strategies that focus on reducing the impacts of flooding and are responsive to where and why flooding occurs

  • Opportunities to develop and implement models and systems that could enhance the ability to predict the magnitude and timing of floods

  • Role of land use planning to minimize flood impacts and inform future land use decisions and policy

Examine Localized Structural Mitigation Measures

Explore conventional and green/natural infrastructure flood mitigation approaches for specific flood-prone areas of the Muskoka River Watershed. The structural mitigation options will include:

  • Impact of climate change on the water system and considerations for developing structural and non-structural flood mitigation tools;

  • Options for conventional and natural (green) infrastructure modifications to mitigate flooding; and

  • Identification of scope, costs, and requirements for preliminary design

Expand Floodplain Mapping

Prepare floodplain mapping across unmapped and vulnerable areas prone to flooding in the Muskoka River Watershed. This project will include:

  • Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) survey data and imagery;

  • Results of hydraulic and hydrologic investigations; and

  • Floodplain mapping for selected river reaches and lake areas.

Natural Capital Inventory

Identify, assess, inventory, and map natural capital (including water, land, air, and renewable and non-renewable resources, such as plant and animal species, forests, air, water, and soils) within the Muskoka River Watershed. This includes a mapped inventory of critical natural features such as woodlands, wetlands, watercourse, and valley lands.

Stay Informed:

To receive Integrated Watershed Management updates and to stay informed of all environmental initiatives being undertaken by the District, please subscribe to our courtesy notice list by entering your email address in the "Stay Informed" tool (located at the top right-hand corner of this page on your desktop, or scroll down on your mobile device) and click the subscribe button.

  • Requests for Proposals Issued for Remaining Phase 1 and 2 Projects

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    The Request for Proposal process is underway for the remaining Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects that make up the Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management Initiative. Competition closes on October 4th, and it is anticipated that the selected consultants will begin work on the projects later this fall.

    You can follow the Making Waves Initiative by clicking the “subscribe” button and entering your email address. You will receive important project updates including announcements when consultants are selected and when reports are published.