Formed in 1951, the MVCA is committed to working with our community partners to create a healthier environment. The MVCA covers the watershed, or drainage area, of the Maitland, Nine Mile and Eighteen Mile Rivers, along with smaller watersheds along Lake Huron.
The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) is a community based organization dedicated to providing leadership to protect and enhance local water, forests and soil.
- Conservation Authorities are jointly owned by the municipalities in the watershed.
- The purpose of the MVCA is to protect water and related resources for present and future generations.
- Conservation Authorities were established by the provincial government at the request of municipalities, to be funded jointly by the province and municipalities.
- The activities of the MVCA are driven by local municipalities, landowners and community organizations. We are committed to providing effective community based conservation services in a cost efficient manner.
Priorities for 2013-2014
The MVCA is continuing to implement priorities identified in the organization’s Strategic Plan to better serve the needs of municipalities and landowners. This includes working to mitigate the impacts of local climate trends by building watershed resiliency to reduce flooding and soil erosion and improve water quality. Specifically the MVCA is working on:
- Updating flood forecasting services in response to climate changes the watershed is experiencing. The increase in intense rain events means that flood forecasting has become more complex. In 2013 the MVCA’s Flood Contingency Plan will be updated and revamped, a flood training exercise will be held for staff and repair work will be undertaken on two gauging stations. Work will continue on implementing 24 hours-a-day flood forecasting monitoring and messaging with accurate and fast modelling of flood events.
- Erosion control and stormwater management work in the Garvey-Glenn watershed. The goal of the Garvey-Glenn Watershed Project is to develop and implement a comprehensive restoration strategy that has a strong level of landowner support. The strategy focuses on addressing the impacts of climate change, soil erosion, stormwater management and nutrient runoff.
- Assisting the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority with the development of a rural stormwater management computer model that can be used to predict runoff.
- Assisting municipalities to prepare for implementation of the Maitland Valley Source Protection Plan.
- Production and distribution of MVCA Watershed Report Cards.
- Development of the Watershed Resiliency Fund to support conservation projects that build watershed resiliency.
What is Resiliency?
The key overall priority for the MVCA is building watershed resiliency to reduce flooding and soil erosion and to improve water quality. Resilience refers to the ability of the watershed to absorb the impacts of disturbances such as climate change, drought, flooding, pests and invasive species while still having healthy forests, rivers and soil.
The MVCA’s focus on resiliency is based on a review of local climate trends. This analysis indicates that climate change is having adverse impacts on the watershed and the magnitude of these impacts is expected to increase. Local climate data shows:
A change in precipitation patterns to more intense scattered thunderstorms. Despite this increase in thunderstorms, total annual precipitation has been declining over the past 40 years,
Fewer days below freezing which may result in more winter precipitation falling as rain instead of snow. Less snow usually means less water storage resulting in reduced stream flow in summer and fall, and producing higher flows in winter and spring. Along the Lake Huron shoreline this trend means less ice on Lake Huron and therefore more lake effect snow.