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Research Report  4.1c

Maintenance Program for Three
Southwestern Ontario Watersheds
1995 - 1996

Mr. Deryl Nethercott, Upper Thames Conservation Authority,
1424 Clarke Rd., London, ONT N5V 5B9
COESA Report No.:  LMAP-016c/97

Objectives & Expected Outputs

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Objectives and Expected Outputs
  1. To encourage the continued adoption of conservation tillage/cropping practices on three watersheds (Essex, Kettle, Kintore) through dialogue with landowners;
  2. To monitor the water quality of the streams in the watersheds using existing monitoring equipment from previous programs (primarily the SWEEP [Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement Program]).
Expected Outputs: Besides providing continuing support for the landowners in adopting conservation tillage/cropping practices, this project will provide an ongoing record of the water quality and quantity as well as the agricultural practices on these watersheds.
a continuation of Project 4.1a / Project 4.1b.
Type: Contribution Agreement, Conservation Authority
Spending Profile: 95-96: $29.8 K (not including in-kind contributions of partners)
Status: Available Fall 1997


1.0 Introduction

The Upper Thames River, Essex Region and Kettle Creek Conservation Authorities monitor agricultural practices, climatic conditions, water quality and water quantity as a Research Sub-Program of the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan. Data collected under this program represent a continuation of the effort by Conservation Authorities to reduce non-point source pollution from agricultural land through voluntary programs. With the cooperation of the individual farmers, the Authorities have introduced conservation cropping and tillage practices, guided the installation of erosion control structures, and provided technical assistance to modify farm management practices.

The Kettle Creek and Belle/Puce River study areas were former Pilot Watersheds in the Soil and Water Environmental Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Each study area (including Kintore Creek) or “Paired Watershed” consists of two equal size subwatersheds which form the headwaters of a creek or small river system. In the paired watersheds, one subwatershed was used to demonstrate the benefits of conservation practices while the second was maintained as a control. Agricultural practices and other activities were monitored throughout the subwatersheds while water quality and quantity were monitored at the outlet of each subwatershed. The Essex Region Conservation Authority monitors municipal drains at the headwaters of the Belle and Puce Rivers while Kettle Creek and Upper Thames River Conservation Authorities monitor the headwaters of Kettle Creek and Kintore Creek respectively.

Each year, an annual report has been prepared to present the information collected during the previous 12 months and to make the data available to other research programs. This report includes a summary and discussion of the 1995 crop information, the primary tillage methods from the fall of 1995 and spring 1996, and the environmental monitoring data collected between June 1, 1995 and May 31, 1996.


1.1 Background

The SWEEP Program was introduced in 1986 to reduce Ontario’s non-point source loading of phosphorous to Lake Erie from agricultural sources. SWEEP was also designed to maintain or improve the productivity of the primary agricultural sector in Southwestern Ontario by reducing or correcting soil erosion and degradation. Following the selection of paired watersheds in 1987, farm plans were developed before the monitoring programs were implemented in 1988. Kintore Creek replaced one of the original paired watersheds in 1989 and remained as part of the study throughout the SWEEP Program. Through Green Plan, the activities in the paired watersheds initiated under SWEEP have been extended until March 1997.



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