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Veale B.,Grand River Conservation Authority | Cooke S.,Grand River Conservation Authority | Zwiers G.,Grand River Conservation Authority | Neumann M.,Grand River Conservation Authority
Canadian Water Resources Journal | Year: 2014

The Grand River, the largest river in southwestern Ontario, flows 311 km from Dundalk to Lake Erie. To mitigate flooding and low-flow extremes created by the removal of forest cover and wetlands, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) operates seven multi-purpose reservoirs. The ability to meet future human and ecological water needs depends both on the careful operation of the reservoir network and the protection, rehabilitation and enhancement of hydrologic and ecological functions provided by natural features such as the Waterloo Moraine, the largest moraine within the Grand River watershed. This moraine contains a complex set of stratigraphic and topographic elements, including extensive areas of sand hills and gravel terraces that readily allow precipitation to infiltrate and recharge several overburden aquifer systems. These aquifer systems discharge groundwater to the headwater wetlands and streams and contribute baseflow. This paper presents a watershed perspective of the importance of the Waterloo Moraine to the hydrology, water quality and ecology of the river system and urges the timely uptake of adaptive management and coordinated multi-scale planning (e.g. watershed, subwatershed and municipal) to safeguard the moraine's natural functions. © 2014 Canadian Water Resources Association. Source

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