The MRCA has partnered with several provincial and federal agencies in the creation of a watershed-wide water monitoring network. The network collects data on the quantity and quality of our groundwater and surface water resources, streamflows and water levels, weather and snow conditions.
A network of streamflow and water level gauges throughout the watershed forms a key component of the Authority’s Flood Forecast and Warning System. Many of these gauges are accessed by satellite and provide important real time information. The data is also used in a variety of water management studies. The Conservation Authority also uses manual staff gauges on many of the smaller streams. Ontario Power Generation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Water Surveys of Canada are key partners in the operation of the system.
Information on snow depth and water content is collected at six monitoring stations located throughout the watershed. This data is especially useful during the spring melt when streamflows and water levels are at their highest. Ontario Power Generation and the Ministry of Natural Resources are key partners. The information is also very useful for wildlife management purposes and tracking climate change.
Since 2007 the Authority has been collecting surface water quality data on the Mattagami and Porcupine River systems under the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network (PWQMN). In partnership with the Ministry of the Environment, samples are collected eight times a year and the water is tested for 35 different parameters including water chemistry, nutrients and the presence of heavy metals.
Groundwater levels and quality is monitored by the Authority through the Ministry of the Environment’s Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN). There are currently four monitoring wells in place that provide realtime data. The wells are sampled yearly for water quality.
Although weather forecasts and statistics are obtained from Environment Canada and other providers, the Conservation Authority has its own weather station at Gillies Lake. The site can be accessed through this website if you want to get up to date information on rainfall, temperature and wind.