Phase One Projects: Evaluating Existing Condition in the Watershed

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

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.

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.

  • Consultants Selected for Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management Phase 1 and Phase 2 Projects

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Through the Request for Proposal process, the District of Muskoka is in the final stages of retaining consultants to complete the Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects for the Making Waves: Integrated Watershed Management (IWM) Initiative which is focused on the Muskoka River Watershed. These projects include:

    • Localized Structural Mitigation Measures
    • Watershed-scale Flood Mitigation Options
    • Operational Adjustments Study
    • Water Management Plan Review Scoping Study
    • Hydrological Model
    • Natural Capital Inventory

    The localized structural mitigation measures project and watershed-scale flood mitigation options project were combined into one project. Likewise, the operational adjustments study and the water management plan review scoping study were also combined into a single project. These projects were combined because of how the information and outcomes from one project will directly inform the next project.


    The floodplain mapping project was awarded in August 2021. To date, 7/12 projects have been awarded. Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects will be completed by the end of summer 2022. Request for proposals for Phase 3 projects will be issued before the New Year.

    The purpose of these projects is to better understand the current conditions in Muskoka River Watershed and its environmental challenges, such as flooding, erosion, and land use planning. The results of these projects will inform a future Integrated Management Plan for the Muskoka River Watershed. Part of the focus of the plan will be to help reduce the impacts of flooding.

    Be sure to subscribe to receive updates about when the project report are published.

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

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    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.

Page last updated: 02 December 2021, 09:03