TRIC photo

Thames River
Implementation Committee

1976 - 1982


Map of Thames River Basin



In 1975 a report on the Thames River Basin Water Management Study (TRBWMS) [366 kb pdf] was issued by the Ministry of the Environment and The Ministry of Natural Resources. This report was based on a detailed study of the Thames River System (see Figure 1) carried out during the period 1972-1975, the objective of which was:

"to develop guidelines for management of the basin's water resources to ensure that adequate quantities of water of satisfactory quality are available for the recognized uses at the lowest possible cost, and that erosion and flood protection are provided consistent with appropriate benefit-cost criteria"

From water quality and flood control modelling results, twenty-two (22) options were defined to meet water management and flood control objectives, based on various combinations involving differing levels of waste treatment, construction and operational alternatives for dams and reservoirs and pipeline concepts to divert London's sewage to Lake Erie. From an evaluation of these options, a total of twenty-nine (29) recommendations were advanced in the report, including a number of recommendations focusing on agricultural and other land use practices throughout the basin.

Recommendation 23 in the report highlighted the need for a joint committee of government agencies and other appropriate organizations to "overcome communication and co-ordination problems relating to water management in the basin, and to implement planning on a watershed basis". This recommendation resulted in the formation of the Thames River Implementation Committee (TRIC) in the latter part of 1976.

The Thames River Implementation Committee (TRIC) was formed in October of 1976. It quickly established terms of reference, settled on principal functions and defined those agencies which would be involved in implementation of the recommendations.

In 1980, the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources committed funding for a 3-year work program to address the specific recommendations of the Water Management Study regarding both flood control and water quality issues. Ninety-five percent of the $788,000 3-year budget was directed at improving agricultural land management in an effort to reduce impacts of rural diffuse sources, to ultimately improve water quality throughout the watershed. Recommendations concerning flood control and municipal servicing were generally being addressed by existing agencies.

Emphasis was placed on a program of rural land management which consisted of four major components:

  1. Public Information and Education
  2. Development of Positive Land Management Demonstrations and Provision of Technical and Financial Assistance for Remedial Measures
  3. Drain Construction and Maintenance Guidelines and Applications
  4. Determination of Priority Land Management Areas

All of these components are considered to be essential to a complete diffuse source management program. Some of the TRIC program components have yielded guidance for remedial land use measures which can now be utilized. Other technical and educational activities which have been initiated by TRIC are long term requirements that should be continued. It is recognized that a specially funded program with the magnitude of TRIC is unnecessary over the long term; however, continuation of a portion of the program through an existing agency or agencies is both feasible and necessary. Timing is important since a gap between completion of the current program and the initiation of a permanent extension program could cause a loss of present momentum.

Localized involvement is of prime importance in promoting and implementing diffuse source pollution controls. Interactions with farmers until recently have been largely restricted to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). Because of demonstrated need, TRIC and the Conservation Authorities have developed a line of communication and assistance with anticipation that either OMAF's program be strengthened in the area of erosion control or that the Conservation Authorities will continue either solely or cooperatively with the activities which TRIC has initiated.


The stance adopted by the Committee identified the need to take a more active role in co-ordinating and stimulating the development of an effective river basin management program on the Thames River. After carefully evaluating existing legislation, policies and programs, it was determined that the Committee's terms of reference could be met through a three-year program during which it would serve as a catalyst to initiate action in this regard. It was anticipated that the Committee would cease to function upon completion of this program.

The participating agencies would then carry on with the implementation of the program.

Terms of Reference

The Thames River Implementation Committee was to provide advice, communication and co-ordination to the implementing agencies and assist in implementing the recommendations of the Thames River Study, or their modifications, by seeking a consensus of involved agencies, establishing a forum for communication with those involved in the implementation and fostering public understanding and participation.

Specifically, these functions would be handled by:

  1. Co-ordination of Existing Programs to achieve liaison and co-ordination amongst agencies currently involved with responsibilities or functions that impact on basin management to:
    1. maximize the benefits to be derived from existing programs;
    2. identify and deal with current problems and issues of interest or concern to one or more implementing agencies;
    3. ensure that decisions in the short term do not preclude the consideration of options that may be essential to the achievement of long-term goals for the basin.

  2. Assessment and Implementation of the Recommendations to achieve the development of an effective river basin management program for the Thames River watershed by:
    1. assessing the recommendations outlined in the report, including impact of the recommendations on municipalities and the level of municipal acceptance;
    2. determining those recommendations that should receive priority attention;
    3. reviewing present programs and activities that may contribute wholly or in part to the achievement of the recommendations;
    4. identifying effective implementation measures;
    5. providing for a periodic re-assessment of the recommendations and the extent of their application.
  3. Public information and Participation to foster a program of public involvement to:
    1. achieve public appreciation of the integrity of the Thames River Basin and inter-dependencies that exist;
    2. to provide an avenue for dissemination of information in order to foster understanding of the Thames River report and the ongoing activities of the Thames River Implementation Committee;
    3. obtain an ongoing input from the public and municipalities concerning the recommendations contained in the Thames River Basin Study and related implementation measures.


In December 1978, Progress Report 1 and a related addendum were forwarded to the Ministers of Environment and Natural Resources. Copies of the transmittal were also forwarded to the Ministers of Agriculture and Food and Housing as their Ministries could be affected by the proposals and funding arrangements advanced.

Following presentations to the Cabinet Committee on Resources Development in December 1978 and April 1979 the Committee formally approached the Provincial Government for financial assistance. Both the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of the Environment agreed to support the program of the Thames River Implementation Committee on a cost-shared basis. Funding for the initial year of the program was approved at $188,000 effective April 1, 1980.

Funding levels for 1981/82 and 1982/83 were $290,000 and $310,000 respectively. The 1982/83 funding level includes $20,000 which the Ministry of Environment was able to provide in addition to the basic cost sharing arrangement.



Thames River Drainage Basin


  TRIC Reports
1. Thames River Agricultural Practices Survey, July 1978. C.T.M. Hadwen & Associated, Guelph, ON  [435 KB pdf]
2. Erosion and Agricultural Practices: Thames River Basin, April, 1978.  [2949 KB pdf]
3. Progress Report on Implementation Aspects of the Thames River Basin Water Management Study, May, 1978  [112 KB pdf]
4. Positive Land Management Practices in the Thames River Basin, Sept. 1980 [1767 KB pdf]; Experience '80 Project
  Progress Report No. 2, Sept., 1980  [306 KB pdf]
5. Progress Report No. 3, Sept., 1981  [1220 KB pdf]
6. Strategy for Soil and Water Management in the Thames River Basin: A Final Report, August 1982.  [752 KB pdf]
  Joint Reports with SAREMP
R-5 Occurrence and Control of Soil Erosion and Fluvial Sedimentation in Selected Basins of the Thames River Watershed  [2829 KB]
R-12 Conservation Tillage Assessments (Comparative Tillage Trials) [4045 KB]
R-13 Sediment Basin Demonstration Project [579 KB]
R-14 Evaluation of Tillage Demonstration Using Sediment Traps  [252 KB]
  Related Reports
  The Avon Valley Plan (1952) [3944 KB pdf]. Upper Thames River Conservation Authority
  Population and Land Uses in Thames River Basin. 1961-1971 (circa 1973). S. Messih. [423 KB]
  Thames River Basin Bulletin (April, 1974). [494  KB]. Ont. Min. Environment; Ont. Min. Natural Resources
  Thames River Basin Water Management Study: Summary Report (1975) [366 KB pdf]
  Thames River Basin Water Management Study: Full Report (1975)  [2895 KB pdf]
  Thames River Basin Management Study: Technical Report, "Water takings in the Thames River Basin", July 1975.
  Thames River Water Management Study: Technical Report - The Public Consultation. 1975. Ont. Ministry of the Environment [1289 KB]
  Thames River Basin Water Management Study Technical Report: Biological Studies, 1970-1973. 1976 [683 KB pdf]
  Water Quality Assessment of the Thames River Mouth, Lake St. Clair, 1975 (Nov. 1977) [1262 KB pdf]
  Pittock Watershed Manure Management and Water Quality Sub-Basin Study. (1984). B. Glasman & B. Hawkins, UTRCA  [2900 KB pdf]
  Livestock Wastes and Agricultural Drainage- Effects of Water Quality: A Case Study in the Pittock Watershed in Southwestern Ontario. (circa 1984). S. Thornley, O.M.E.; A. Bos, UTRCA  [670 KB pdf]
  Relationships Between Land Use and Water Quality in Southwestern Ontario. (1986). Gartner Lee Assoc.,  for O.M.E.  [2400 KB]
  The Ontario Rural Beaches Studies: Implications for Remedial Strategies (CURB, 1989). A. Bos, D. Hayman, UTRCA & D. Draper, Ont. Ministry of Environment [903 KB pdf]
  A Clean Up Rural Beaches Plan (CURB) for Fanshawe, Pittock and Wildwood Reservoir in the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority Watershed. David Hayman, UTRCA. [1030 KB pdf]
  Fanshawe Lake: The Need for Water Quality Management in Southern Ontario Reservoirs. (April, 1991). H. Vandermeulen and A. Gemza Ont. Min. Env. [2724 KB]


Links to Other Archived Environmental Reports
  1. Archive Library

  2. Misc. Environmental Reports

  3. M.O.E.-Funded Reports

  4. ManureNet Digital LIbrary

Related Links

Conservation Ontario
International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes Basin  (IJC)

  1. Rural Beaches Strategy Program (1985-91) / Clean Up Rural Beaches (1991-96)

  2. Stratford-Avon River Environmental Management Project (SAREMP) (1980 - 1984),

  3. PLUARG - Pollution from Land Use Activities  Reference Group (1972 - 1979)

  4. Factors Affecting Suitability Of On-farm Remedial Measures For Non-point Pollution Control In The Canadian Great Lakes Basin. 1982. C. Pharo. Upper Thames River Cons. Authority [938 KB]

  5. Great Lakes Water Quality Program (Agriculture) (1989 - 1994) Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada; 14 Research Reports.

  6. Targeting Rural Best Management Practices in the Thames River Watershed: Are We Doing Enough? Karen Maaskant, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority;  Managing Watersheds for Great Lakes Benefits: Technical Workshop on Nutrients in the Nearshore, Black Creek Pioneer Village, March 3-4, 2009. [pdf]

  7. Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement in the Great Lakes Basin: An Overview of Post-PLUARG Developments. (August, 1983).  A Report Submitted by the Nonpoint Source Control Task Force of the Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.[726 KB pdf]

  8. Changing farmer attitudes: An Ontario experience. Jane Sadler Richards, J. of Soil and Water Conservation May 1983.  Vol.38(3): 255-257

  9. H2Ontario - Integrated Watershed Management: Navigating Ontario's Future. Symposium Report, May 21-22, 2009. Symposium examined global advances in the field of Integrated Watershed Management (IWM) & explored the evolution of a ‘made-in-Ontario’ approach to ensure that we have a safe, sustainable supply of water today and into the future.

  10. Nonpoint Source Pollution Abatement in the Great Lakes Basin: An Overview of Post-PLUARG Developments. (Aug.,1983).  A Report Submitted by the Nonpoint Source Control Task Force of the Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.[726 KB pdf]





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