The Ontario hydrometric network assessment and design project - user workshop

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Courtesy of Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA)

In 2001, through a multi-ministry cabinet submission, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) assumed the leadership role for management of the provincial Hydrometric Network. As part of that agreement, MNR assumed the costs for the entire network including Ministry of the Environment (MOE) gauges and conservation authority gauges. Since then, MNR has seen costs increase from $4,800 to $10,400 per gauge annually.

MNR has facilitated the establishment and ongoing maintenance of approximately 200 additional sites. In response to numerous factors ranging from budget restrictions to changing priorities, MNR has periodically reviewed the network for its ability to meet the needs of users for which it was designed and emerging needs. The current assessment and review project seeks to do just that. Driven mainly by the ever growing need to understand in greater detail climate change in this province, this review process will follow similar methods used previously as it focuses on increasing network density, and augmenting existing gauges with additional meteorological and/or stream gauge sensors. Those parties using the hydrometric network for traditional uses (e.g., flood forecasting and warning, planning for hydro power, low water response, etc.) as well as uses for which it was not specifically designed (climate change monitoring and adaptation strategy development) will be asked to submit recommendations for upgrades that would make the network more suited to their particular needs.

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