Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP): Multi-Watershed Nutrient Study
Beginning in 2014, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) has been conducting the Multi-Watershed Nutrient Study (MWNS), in partnership with the Universities of Windsor, Waterloo, and Ryerson University, as well as federal and provincial agencies and Conservation Authorities. The goals of this study are to examine the relationships between agricultural land use, land management, and nutrient loadings in streams leading to the Great Lakes. Also, the MWNS work will examine how changes in land-use, land management, and climate can affect water quality and nutrient loading over time. The MWNS sites are typical of Southern Ontario, and are considered to be “Sentinel Watersheds”. Sentinel Watersheds experience water runoff and nutrient balances that are representative of the types of watersheds found in the province, and can help describe and predict the connection between land use, land management, climate, and nutrient loads. By understanding how these factors interact in Sentinel Watersheds, better predictions can be made for the province as a whole.
A combination of stream water data collection as well as modelling approaches will be used in this work. In 2016, Christopher Wellen began developing the modelling framework to understand nutrient export in the MWNS watersheds, as well as the regional-scale analysis that will extend to larger geographical areas that are affecting the lower Great Lakes.
A 2 page synopsis of the Multi-Watershed Nutrient Study is available here.