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Phase 3 interim report August 2014 1.  Local non-profit source water protection agency  Implementing “Getting to the Source”, with 82 recommendations.

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Presentation on theme: "Phase 3 interim report August 2014 1.  Local non-profit source water protection agency  Implementing “Getting to the Source”, with 82 recommendations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Phase 3 interim report August

2  Local non-profit source water protection agency  Implementing “Getting to the Source”, with 82 recommendations  Covers two watershed area, the Wascana and the Upper Qu’Appelle  Agriculture programming, invasive weed management and research  More info at 2

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4  Lack of Riparian Health Assessment data in Wascana Watershed identified in 2008  Funding received for project design from Saskatchewan Watershed Authority in 2009/10  Field work was delayed by flood conditions in

5  First field assessments in summer 2012 within City of Regina boundaries  Further design and field assessments took place in 2013 on Creek upstream of Regina  Third phase completed this summer downstream of Regina to the Qu’Appelle, and on portion of Cottonwood Creek 5

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7  Smallest Saskatchewan watershed area, with highest population density  Highly modified environment.  Major urban impact, and intensive cropping  Saskatchewan State of the Watershed Report condition ranking is “Impacted”  Saskatchewan State of the Watershed Report stressor ranks “High Intensity”  Issues of flooding, invasives, nutrient loading, high streamflow downstream of Regina. 7

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10  Riparian Health Assessment uses observational data to measure indicators of riparian health  Some indicators involve identification of plant species composition and plant cover, and condition of plant life  Other indicators classify the physical condition of the bank such as structural composition and integrity 10

11  Allows for a better understanding of the condition of key ecological functions on the landscape  Data collected can be used as a baseline to monitor condition over time  Results can compare different management zones along a waterway  Results can inform management decisions made by landowners and managers  Can be used to identify project sites 11

12  Trap sediment  Build and maintain streambanks  Store flood water and energy  Recharge of aquifers  Filter and buffer water  Reduce and dissipate stream energy  Maintain biodiversity  Create primary productivity 12

13  Balances erosion with bank restoration – reduces effects of erosion by adding bank elsewhere  Increases stability and resilience  Maintains or restores the profile of the channel – and extends the width of riparian area through higher water table 13

14  Utilizes two categories – Lotic for rivers and streams, lentic for lakes, sloughs, wetlands  Utilizes set questions – 12 for lotic system, 9 for lentic system  Utilizes visual observation and assigns point scores based on data  Overall Health score of 80% or greater rates “healthy”  Overall Health score of 60%-79% rates “healthy with problems”  Overall Health score of less than 60% rates “unhealthy” 14

15  Scores 80 or higher  All riparian functions are being performed  High level of riparian condition  Demonstrates resiliency and stability 15

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17  Scores range from  Many riparian functions are being performed, but some clear signs of stress are apparent  The reach area many not be as capable of rebounding from floods and human activity 17

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19  Scores  Most riparian functions are severely impaired or have been lost  Reach has lost most of its resiliency, stability is compromised 19

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21  Preferred species have deep binding root mass  Most preferred species are native plants  Good balance of trees –Willow, Manitoba Maple, Elm, Green Ash, Hawthorn  Shrubs Chokecherry, Saskatoon, Dogwood  Forbs and grasses - Cattails, rushes, reed grass, native grasses 21

22  Invasive species out-compete preferred species  Often are exotic plants that lack local controls  Invasive plants impair riparian function  Brome grass is pervasive throughout watershed, replaces preferred grasses  Disturbance plants grow where preferred species have disappeared  Sow thistle, burdock, dandelion 22

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28 Average coverage score was 3 out of 6, which indicates significant areas of bare ground due to water Lots of areas where flooding had washed out large areas, especially on outside meanders Bare ground was more common further downstream 28

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30  Average score for Wascana Creek was.04 out of 6  Prevalence of smooth brome  Also widespread scentless chamomile, thistle, Absinth and locations with leafy spurge 30

31  Overall average score on trees and shrubs is 8.8 out of 12  Trees are present and regenerating themselves  Presence of beaver browsing lowers score  Where are the beaver dams? 31

32  Average Wascana score of 2 out of 6  Indicates that overall only 35%-65% of the streambank is anchored with deep, binding root mass 32

33  Average scores are 4.5 out of 6 for human caused bare ground  Average score of 4.8 for human alteration  These are good indications about local management 33

34  Average Wascana score is.7 out of 6  This indicates that at least 30% of the site reach shows active lateral cutting from stream flow 34

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36  Average Wascana score was 2.1 out of 9  This means that the stream cannot access its flood plain  This continues the cycle of incisement and slumping, until bank stability is achieved by erosion 36

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39  Physical structure of streambank has been clearly compromised by high peak flows, and intense rainfall events over the year  Problems with high flows are compounded by 60 meter drop in elevation  Highly erodible glacial till soils further downstream  Clay, loam, gravel, sand 39

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46  Scores overall lowered due to invasive plant species  Some species like smooth brome are too pervasive to be controlled  Expansion of other species like leafy spurge can be controlled  Evidence of flood damage leading to spread of invasive and disturbance plants 46

47  Flow from WWTP has altered Creek hydrograph to flow year round  Impacts from recent high flows are pronounced  Potential impacts from stormwater flows from hard surface in Regina. High peak runoff events downstream 47

48  Constant flows are likely impacting establishment of vegetation, increasing erosive force on gravelly glacial soils  Recent major slumping at sites like Sherwood Forest and Deer Valley  Seven Bridges Road in RM #189 has serious erosion issues  Cottonwood Creek is healthy but now the receiving waterbody for the GTH stormwater system 48

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50  Healthiest sites are riparian park areas in Regina  Much engineering alteration in City and upstream, which may speed up water  Creek serves as natural pathway for invasives  Improvement will require cooperation and creativity 50

51  Some agricultural impacts, such as overspray with herbicide  No notable siltation from cropping  No notable impacts from livestock overall  Naturalization of parks and stormwater channels helps manage city runoff  Need more information about where flows are coming from in the watershed 51

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