Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities (CAs) are local management agencies that deliver services and programs to protect and manage water and other natural resources on a watershed basis. CAs work in partnership with all levels of government, landowners and other organizations. They promote an integrated approach and aim to balance human, environmental and economic needs. Strong and resilient natural ecosystems help humans adapt to many different challenges, including the impacts of climate change, rapid urbanization, stressed biodiversity, and increased pollution.
Formed in the 1940’s, Conservation Authorities collect and analyze local environmental data and use this information to guide the development of local natural resource programs and plans. Recent public demand for information about the state of watersheds and a need to demonstrate accountability led Conservation Authorities to develop watershed report cards.
The purpose of the watershed report cards is to report on the health of Ontario’s watersheds through the use of key environmental indicators, allowing Conservation Authorities and their partners to better target programs and measure environmental change. The report cards are a management and evaluation tool for Conservation Authorities, municipalities, and other watershed practitioners and agencies.
One of the purposes of the watershed report cards is to deliver a vast amount of technical information in an understandable and interesting way. They identify local and regional differences, and can help to show us where to target our efforts for the most impact.
The watershed report cards being produced by Conservation Authorities will evolve over time, including new indicators and information as data becomes available and environmental priorities shift. For more information visit www.watershedcheckup.ca.