Photo of Virgil Dam- Four Mile Creek- Surrounded by green bushes and water


The NPCA Explores Long-Term Solutions for Lower & Upper Virgil Dams in Four Mile Creek

In Response to Letter to the Editor by Morgan Mitchell, Niagara Now

One of the objectives of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is to further the conservation and restoration of the natural environment and this is a responsibility that is taken very seriously. Much like the residents living along Four Mile Creek, the NPCA is concerned with the continuous vandalizing of the dam boards on the Lower Virgil Dam, which has inevitably resulted in low water levels in the Lower Virgil Reservoir.

The Virgil Dams were designed in 1966 with the sole purpose of creating a source of irrigation water for the local fruit growers. Over the years, theses irrigation reservoirs have developed their own aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems much to the enjoyment of the local residents.

Back in 1966, the guiding principle of the dam’s design was that the facility must be simple and would not need to be operated in any fashion. However, the NPCA recognizes that a design that was appropriate in the 1960s is a design that is not appropriate for today.

Over the past year, the NPCA has been in discussion with the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake on ways to better maintain and operate the Upper and Lower Virgil Dams, in an effort to continue to provide local farmers with access to irrigation water without negatively impacting the local ecosystem.

The NPCA appreciates the passion that residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake have shown regarding their natural areas. It is a passion the NPCA shares and the concerns of the community are always taken very seriously.

The NPCA has addressed the issue of the degraded dam boards several times, however constant vandalizing does not allow these short term solutions to last as they should, while more permanent, long-term solutions are established. With a temporary solution currently in place, we ask local residents and the community for their help in taking care of the area while the NPCA and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake continue to discuss the future of Lower and Upper Virgil Dams.