Integrated Watershed Management

With our extensive natural areas and numerous lakes and waterways, Muskoka is rich in natural capital, which is vital to our economy and the quality of our lives. Effective management can sustain that capital to the maximum extent possible while permitting the development required to house our population and sustain our economy.

This natural capital – the soils, forests, grasslands, wetlands – also plays a role in determining the flow of water into streams, rivers and lakes. However, we lack a detailed understanding of how natural capital affects flow from place to place across our watershed, and how climate change may modify these regulating processes.

MWC recommends that an advanced form of integrated watershed management (IWM) be implemented in Muskoka, ultimately to drive all aspects of environmental management and land-use planning. Recognizing the strong dependence of the economy and community on a high quality environment, IWM can be designed to meet the needs and goals of every business owner, wage earner, property owner and visitor in the watershed. By integrating socio-economic criteria with environmental management, IWM is intended to create more sustainable communities.

IWM is an approach that requires us to manage human activities and natural resources, together, on a watershed basis taking into consideration the connected interests and needs of the environment, economy and society. Graphic from Conservation Ontario.
IWM is an approach that requires us to manage human activities and natural resources, together, on a watershed basis taking into consideration the connected interests and needs of the environment, economy and society.
Graphic from Conservation Ontario

Over the past two years, MWC has produced a number of resources discussing IWM and its application in Muskoka.

MWAG Recommendations

The Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG) submitted an interim report on issues and priorities for protecting the watershed and supporting the local economy to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). Several of the recommendations relate to IWM.

 

Other Resources

  • Presentations
  • Documents
  • Papers
  • Articles