Our Watershed, Our Blueprint

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Stormwater pond with homes in the background.


Project Vision: A healthy and resilient watershed that protects, sustains and enhances our evolving communities

No matter where you live or work, we are all located in a watershed. A watershed is simply defined as an area of land that drains surface water into a river or stream. Protection and enhancement of a watershed and the water resource system, including surface water and groundwater features, is a priority action for the City of Peterborough. Provincial policy further requires Watershed Planning to inform municipal decisions related to growth and infrastructure.

The threats associated with climate change and land-use change can result


Project Vision: A healthy and resilient watershed that protects, sustains and enhances our evolving communities

No matter where you live or work, we are all located in a watershed. A watershed is simply defined as an area of land that drains surface water into a river or stream. Protection and enhancement of a watershed and the water resource system, including surface water and groundwater features, is a priority action for the City of Peterborough. Provincial policy further requires Watershed Planning to inform municipal decisions related to growth and infrastructure.

The threats associated with climate change and land-use change can result in a significant impact to watersheds in the Peterborough area. The watershed plan is intended to set a clear vision, with associated goals, objectives and targets that will help us adapt our land-use and infrastructure policy or guidance, in light of climate change.

The watershed planning process will be a collaborative effort, dedicated to the protection and enhancement of our water resources. The Watershed Planning Study will provide a framework for the protection and management of our water resources. This study will assess the cumulative impacts of activities across the watershed and ultimately help the City make decisions for growth and land use within the watershed. You can learn more about the Watershed Planning Study by visiting our project page on the City's website.

Engagement and Collaboration

The community’s voice is an integral part of the project process. By asking for the community’s knowledge of issues, constraints and opportunities as well as ideas to shape the vision and goals, the study and eventual Plan can be tailored to address local feedback and concerns. Community feedback will also contribute to the Project Team's knowledge of local issues. The engagement plan for this project has two principle goals:

  1. To provide key stakeholders, community organizations and the public with the opportunity to provide input and feedback to inform the Watershed Plan; and
  2. To raise awareness regarding the development of the plan and the importance of watershed planning in general.

Further expertise and input are being obtained through a Watershed Coordinating Committee (WCC) and a Technical Working Group (TWG). The WCC is comprised of members from our neighboring Municipalities, the County, First Nations, and Otonabee Conservation. The TWG is comprised of subject matter experts who live and work in the community. These groups will meet regularly throughout the Watershed Planning process to provide input and comment on the plan.

  • Phase 1 Watershed Characterization Complete

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    07 Jul 2020
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    The Project Team is pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the Watershed Planning Process is now complete. Phase 1 included completing the Watershed Characterization, developing a project Vision, including Goals and Objectives, as well as significant public and stakeholder consultation. A copy of the Draft Watershed Characterization Report can be made available upon request by contacting the Project Manager, Ian Boland at iboland@peterborough.ca.

    "The objective of the Watershed Planning Study (WPS) is to provide a management framework for the protection of water resources, the management of human activities, land, water, aquatic life, and resources within the subwatersheds in the City of Peterborough (the City) and for the assessment of cumulative, cross-jurisdictional, and cross-watershed impacts."

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  • Project Goals and Objectives

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    25 Jun 2020
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    After completing the Watershed Characterization, and substantial consultation with the public, our stakeholders, the Watershed Coordinating Committee and Technical Working Group throughout 2019, the project team developed a set of Goals and Objectives for the Watershed Plan. These Goals and Objectives, as well as the Watershed Plan Vision, will help to guide the remainder of the Watershed Plan development. The Goals and Objectives may be modified as we continue throughout the watershed planning process, and the Project Team welcomes any further comments you may have.

    One of the final components of the Watershed Plan will be the development of subwatershed specific targets. Targets are intended to be quantitative measures, allowing us to measure progress towards one or more of the objectives. Targets will generally be guided by scientific evidence, but can also be influenced by traditional knowledge or public opinion.

    The projects Vision, Goals and Objectives can be viewed here, or found in the Document Library. Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts on the Goals and Objectives, or the future subwatershed targets.


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  • Discover our watersheds using Story Maps

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    18 Jun 2020
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    Learn more about the watersheds in our study area using the interactive Story Map. Discover where each watershed is, what makes it unique, and what significant features it has. Stayed tuned for more Story Maps and information about the Watershed Plan!

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  • Phase 1 Engagement Report Now Available

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    09 Jan 2020
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    The Phase 1 Engagement Report is now available in the document library. The report summarizes the comments and feedback we received during a two-month period in the summer of 2019.

    The project team has summarized and analyzed the community feedback and will use the information to help formulate Vision and Goals for the Watershed.

    Five key themes have emerged from the Phase 1 Public Consultation, these include:

    • Healthy ecosystems
    • Prioritization of clean water
    • Smart development
    • Resiliency
    • Ongoing engagement, education, and coordination