Synthesis Report (2005)

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has been reviewing the Permit To Take Water (PTTW) process in Ontario. Due to low water level conditions over parts of Southern Ontario in recent years and heightened public awareness of the sensitivity of the resource. The Synthesis Report provides an overview of the pilot projects undertaken to complete the verification of existing methods and application of methods to characterize instream flow requirements for a number of watersheds across the province.

These three projects were selected because collectively they represented a range of watershed conditions and types of water taking permits across Southern Ontario. The projects also included both regulated and unregulated streams and occurred in areas typical of a range of fish community types including tolerant warmwater fisheries and sensitive coldwater fisheries.

Report - 1.5 MB

Fact Sheet English - 1 MB
Fact Sheet French - 1 MB



Grand River Conservation Authority (2005)

The pilot study by the Grand River Conservation Authority has provided a process for estimating instream flow requirements in Southern Ontario. The incorporation of hydraulic, geomorphic, flow and ecological information combine to synthesize a very complex study on the ecological needs for water in streams. Eight pilot reaches were selected in the watershed to display the many different characteristics in components of balancing the needs of both the human and natural environment. The pilot reaches were examined using a case study approach, which developed a different process for each location for studying ecological flow requirements, This not only supported other research but also supported the fact that there cannot be one single method for determining instream flow requirements. A multi-disciplinary and staged approach is stressed to adequately characterize the dynamic nature and needs of aquatic environments.

Report - 11 MB


Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (2005)

The Millhaven Creek Watershed has minimal water usage. It is a reasonably small watershed for Eastern Ontario, with headwaters in the Canadian Shield, flowing generally southwest over limestone plain to Lake Ontario. The existing water taking permits are non-consumptive, in that the water will find its way back to the watercourse, although it may be delayed. There are some habitat enhancement impoundment projects and a market garden along the watercourse. Residential uses by local landowners range from lawn watering, garden watering, and livestock watering. These uses may have the most effect on the watershed, as they cause the flow to shift drastically on a daily basis, and many landowners have constructed rock weirs in the creek to hold water for personal use. Wilton Creek and Collins Creek, the watersheds to either side of Millhaven watershed, were also examined as part of this project.

Report - 7 MB


Long Point Region Conservation Authority (2005)

The study has resulted in the development of a scientifically-defensible and ecologically-meaningful approach for instream flow management to help protect the ecological integrity of stream resources in the Long Point Region. Big Creek was selected as the test watershed because it was the first stream system in the Long Point Region to have a fully calibrated hydrological model; recent fish/fish habitat data provided detailed habitat profiles making possible to select reference stations which exhibited characteristics of a healthy, productive “coldwater” fish habitat, and; Big Creek has a high incidence of water taking for irrigation during the summer low-flow period. Furthermore, maintenance of adequate summer flows to protect fish habitat in Big Creek has been an ongoing management concern in the Long Point Region.

Report - 8 MB