Watershed protection

This section provides information on the basics of watersheds, water quality, and the impacts of agricultural practices on water quality. It also explores how to develop a watershed monitoring plan, integrated watershed management and management options for agricultural operations.

The content of this section will be of use to members of watershed groups, as well as agricultural operators and organizations, rural communities, government departments and anyone with an interest in watershed management.

In this section:

  • Understanding watersheds
    The watershed has emerged across Canada, and in many countries as a critical landscape planning unit for the protection of the environment and support of sustainable development. This section discusses defining and delineating watersheds, digital elevation models, watershed hydrology, differences between surface and groundwater, and changes in water over time and space.
  • Agriculture and water quality
    Agricultural activities have the potential to pose environmental risks. This section discusses the nature of some of the risks and the Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) that can be implemented to minimize them.
  • Watershed monitoring
    Watershed monitoring provides information about the condition of our waters. Are they of high enough quality for the uses that we expect? Are conditions worsening or improving due to our actions? This section outlines some of the factors to consider in a monitoring program.
  • Public involvement in watershed management
    A community-based approach aimed at reducing non-point source pollution and habitat protection can be very effective. This section looks at forming and maintaining effective volunteer groups.
  • Water sampling
    Taking water samples is very often an important part of monitoring a watershed and drawing conclusions about the connections between water quality and land-use activities. This section considers the essentials of a sound water sampling program.

Information about Watershed management is available on DVD as an interactive and educational multimedia application. The DVD also includes a second interactive multimedia educational application which teaches users proper methods on Sampling from Surface Water Bodies and a 3D animation of the Hydrologic cycle. All of the content on the DVD is available in French and a portion is available in Spanish.

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