Like any budget, a water budget looks at balancing needs with the available resources. A water budget is based on a clear understanding of the way that the water cycle works in a specific area. To create a water budget we need to understand:
1. The amount of water stored in the system – as ground water, flowing overland as surface water, recharging back into the river and ground from marshes and other storage areas, and the amount leaving the system through evaporation, run-off or even removal.
2. The amount required – for the health of the watershed including the needs of the plants and animals that make up the ecosystem, and for human needs now and based on projected growth.
The demand for water has escalated considerably in the last three decades as the Province of Ontario has experienced tremendous growth pressure. It is expected that the Credit River watershed will continue to experience extensive development pressures and, with this, ever-increasing demands for water. In addition, forecasts predict that climate change could result in droughts and changes in precipitation patterns. This would result in lower baseflow in the river and its tributaries and in lower groundwater levels.
CVC is working with its partners to develop a Water Budget to begin to address these concerns.