Jennifer May-Anderson is the Communications Manager of the Quinte Conservation Authority and has been  in that position for 9 years . She is responsible for informing the public of situations which affect our area, especially in the area of water levels, whether they be too low or too high. 
 
The Quinte Conservation Authority  is one of 36 conservation authorities within Ontario, and is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The mandate of the Conservation Authority is to ensure the conservation, restoration, and responsible management of  Ontario's water, land and natural habitats,  through programs  that balance environmental, human and economic needs.
 
The Quinte Conservation Authority was formed when  the Moira River, Napanee, and Prince Edward Region Authorities were combined in 1996. The Authority is set up  on a watershed basis. Our watersheds include the Moira River, Napanee Region, and Prince Edward Region Watersheds, , covering a total of 6.600 square kilometers. All of our watersheds drain into the Bay of Quinte.
 
Eighteen member municipalities appoint  people to serve on the board for the Authority, which is funded by municipal levies, provincial and federal grants.  The staff is comprised of over 25  people with various backgrounds and skills ( a water resources engineer, environmental planner, forestry specialist, naturalist, financial coordinator, field technicians, and other environmental specialists) , many of whom are Loyalist College graduates. The authority enjoys partnerships with  federal and provincial governments, "friends" of the authority, local schools and businesses, land owners, community groups,  and service clubs. 
 
Quinte Conservation provides services to reduce the threat of loss of life  and property damage, by issuing flood warnings, flood forecasting,  and through the operation and maintenance of flood control structures. The Conservation Authority coordinates the local low water response team that provides information, leadership and preparedness in the event of a drought. These structures include 39 water control structures, 14 flood control structures, and other structures that provide for seasonal recreation, low flow augmentation, and local water supply. We are responsible for water quality monitoring, and we sample in rivers, streams, wells, and ground water sources. 
 
We provide technical advice to municipalities, landowners, lawyers and developers.
 
We are responsible for protecting  sources of municipal drinking water from overuse and contamination and we are facilitators in  developing a Source Water Protection Plan. We work with Lower Trent Conservation Authority  and federal and provincial governments on the "big Cleanup" of the Bay of Quinte.
 
We own over 30,000 acres of land, and have over 20 Conservation areas open to the public daily, from dawn to dusk. One conservation area doubles as a campground.  (Depot Lakes - 3,000 acres, 4 lakes, interior and seasonal campsites) 
 
The McLeod Dam Green energy Project  - this was modified in 2007 - 2008  to generate electricity, enough to power 400 homes. This renewable energy reduces the equivalent of 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year  from our air. 
 
Our education programs include the "Stream of Dreams" which educates school children on the life and function  of the watersheds in our area. This is followed by an art workshop which produces painted "dream fish" on school yard fences.  
 
Low water has been a serious problem recently, and the Conservation Authority has been responsible for reporting, and advising communities of Low Water Conditions: Level I - potential water supply problem; voluntary conservation (10% reduction in use) Level II - potentially serious water problem; conservation and restrictions on non - essential use  (20% reduction in use) Level 3 - failure of the water supply to meet the demand; conservation, restriction and regulation.
 
The Conservation Authority maintains water monitoring  networks and  and data,  has strong links with the community  groups, media, and government, and may  facilitate  coordination of water  conservation messages. We operate dams and reservoirs and can verify MNRF data and low water conditions  in the field. We monitor local stream  health  and water quality. 
 
This past summer, we saw the  lowest water levels recorded in Beaver Lake, the Salmon River at Croydon, the Skootamatta River  at Price conservation Area and Consecon Creek. We need a lot of snow this winter to bring back the ground water levels; rain that falls now on frozen ground will just run off into rivers and streams, and will not help to replenish ground water sources. 
 
Municipalities can enforce water use restrictions - they do not necessarily report back to the Conservation Authorities. 
 
Andrew Bandler thanked Jennifer  and commented that it is great to know we have  a local authority monitoring and advising us on our water levels and quality.
 
 
 
 
Sponsors