Water Environment Strategy

The Water Environment Strategy is one of 17 projects of the Ottawa River Action Plan. The Strategy will establish a comprehensive plan in cooperation with other agencies for the management of water environment issues in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa is home to an extensive network of rivers and streams, including portions of four major rivers, the Rideau, South Nation, Mississippi and Ottawa Rivers; four major tributaries, the Carp, Jock and Castor Rivers and the Bear Brook; and hundreds of smaller creeks and streams. These watercourses, which total more than 4,500 kilometers, are rich cultural and natural treasures enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. They are also lifelines for the City, providing clean drinking water, supporting agriculture, enabling recreation and tourism, and sustaining local fish and wildlife.

A Phased Approach

The Water Environment Strategy is being brought forward in two phases.  Phase 1 was approved by the City’s Environment Committee and Council in March, 2014. It provides a backgrounder on the issues facing Ottawa’s watersheds, a road map for moving forward to develop a long-term strategy, and a 2014 Workplan.

Report to Council: Phase 1 Water Environment Strategy

Phase 2 will be brought forward to City Council in 2015, and will include: a strategic framework with long term goals, objectives and guiding principles; a 2015-2018 action plan; recommended City investments; and a proposed inter-agency coordination strategy.

The Benefits of Having a Water Environment Strategy

The Water Environment Strategy will protect the City’s significant water assets and ensure that Ottawa’s watersheds are ecologically robust and healthy for the future. Safeguarding the water environment means protecting the health of the streams, lakes and rivers, as well as groundwater, wetlands and natural areas. Securing watershed health requires balancing protection and restoration of these areas, while supporting economic and urban development.

Water Roundtable

The City held a Water Roundtable on June 14, 2014 to engage residents in a conversation about Ottawa’s water environment and how we as a community can help to protect and preserve local water resources.

A Report on the Roundtable  was submitted to the Environment Committee on September 16th, 2014 and discussed at the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee on November 20th, 2014.

Have a Question or Comment on the Water Environment Strategy?

Please email us at WES@ottawa.ca