A Changing Landscape
The Credit River Watershed looks different today than it did 200 years ago when forests made up more than 90 per cent of the landscape.
Between 1850 and 1920, the land was cleared for farming and logging operations. By 1956, 74 per cent of the watershed was farmland. The landscape has since transitioned from farmland to more urban land uses.
In Phase 1 of the Watershed Plan we describe how current land cover and land uses impact the health of the Credit River Watershed.
The Composition of the Watershed Today
Urban: 31 per cent
(Homes, businesses, and stores)
Natural cover: 36 per cent
(Forests, wetlands, and aquatic communities)
Farms: 28 per cent
Open space: 5 per cent
(Grassy areas, parks and lawns)
What are the Impacts?
As a result of more urban areas, less water is able to seep into the ground. This can cause:
- Increased risk of flooding which creates a hazard for people and can damage buildings and infrastructure.
- A decrease in groundwater availability for drinking water and streams.
- Water pollution as pollutants from the road, such as road salt, drains into streams and groundwater when it rains.
The loss of forests and wetlands on the landscape can reduce:
- Space available for wildlife to live and people to enjoy.
- Biodiversity as invasive pests, diseases and plants move into remaining natural spaces.
- Ecosystem services provided by nature such as storing carbon or cooling temperatures.
Together, We Can Reduce the Impacts
We’re working with community members and our municipal partners to reduce these negative impacts by:
- Greening residential, farm and corporate properties.
- Implementing green infrastructure and low impact development.
- Building climate resilience in neighbourhoods.
- Providing opportunities to get involved with your community to take action.
Join us! Watershed Plan Open House
You can learn more about the findings from the first phase of the Watershed Plan at an upcoming Watershed Plan Open House. Hear how the health of the Credit River Watershed has evolved from the 1950s to today. Join us November 18 in Brampton. Register for this event.
By Shanice Badior, Coordinator, Watershed Plans and Analytics