Watershed Report Card graphic 2023



In celebration of World Water Day, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is pleased to present the 2023 Watershed Report Card—a check up on the health of the Niagara Peninsula watershed, focusing on surface and groundwater quality, forest conditions, and watershed features.

The Watershed Report Card is part of an initiative by conservation authorities to evaluate key indicators of watershed health with guidelines and a grading system provided by Conservation Ontario. The NPCA has participated since 2012, producing a report every 5 years.

The 2023 report card provides a clear snapshot of the status of the watershed, a baseline against which we can measure all future efforts. What did we find?

  • Surface Water Quality- D Forest Conditions- C- Groundwater Quality- B
  • The poor surface water quality and loss of habitat in the Niagara Peninsula watershed has been caused by decades of environmental degradation.
  • However, programs that improve how nutrients are managed, serve to increase riparian buffers, and enhance wetlands and forest can begin to address these impacts.
  • While collective efforts across the watershed will improve water quality and forest conditions over time, there is much work to be done collectively by watershed stakeholders before watershed report card grades improve.
  • Generally, the grades of the Niagara Peninsula watershed are below those observed in Ontario, but equivalent to grades observed across southwestern Ontario, where there are greater environmental stressors from higher population densities and larger concentrations of agriculture and industry.
  • The NPCA will continue to monitor watershed resources to ensure that there is up-to-date information available to quantify trends and to identify sources of contamination within the Niagara Peninsula watershed.

As you read the 2023 Niagara Peninsula Watershed Report Card, you will learn about the several corporate programs and initiatives that the NPCA is undertaking to improve grades and overall watershed health. Additionally, the NPCA works with many local, provincial, and federal partners like governments, agencies, landowners, and residents to plan and deliver watershed management programs that strive to improve the health of the Niagara Peninsula watershed.

Individuals, community groups, and businesses alike are encouraged to get involved and play a role in improving the health of their watershed by planting native trees and/or rainwater gardens, sponsor community clean ups to keep waste and garbage out of natural areas, or invest in ‘greener’ alternatives to current practices.

Read the 2023 Niagara Peninsula Watershed Report Card to learn more about what you can do to help the watershed!