Protection and management of water resources is vital to maintain quality of life for our and future generations. The quantity and quality of water in creeks, rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands affects our health and the nature surrounding us. During storm events runoff flows from land surfaces and spreads contaminants from their source to the entire ecosystem. Urban sprawl in the last few decades has resulted in increased frequency of surface and stream flooding and degradation of water quality with major economic, social and environmental consequences. Agricultural intensification has also contributed to elevated nutrient loads in many river systems that lead to impairment of the aquatic habitat. Elevated bacteria and nutrient levels in streams and frequent beach postings in Ontario has impacted the tourism industry and local economy. Identification of contaminants, their sources and transport processes is an important consideration in development of improved watershed management strategies. Despite major progress in effective use of remote sensed data and integration of GIS technology in watershed-scale hydrologic modeling in recent years, there still remains a fundamental gap in our knowledge of transmission of water, suspended sediments and associated contaminants over the land surface and through shallow groundwater system.
The long-term goal of my research is to develop an enhanced watershed-scale water quality model that would enable us to trace back pollutants to its sources more accurately and help us allocate our management resources more efficiently. My research will initially focus on snowmelt and runoff algorithms that need to be revised for improved performance in simulating spring conditions. Attention will also focus on microdrainage and in-stream sediment transport processes, particularly the delivery algorithms for contaminants, to improve model applications in Canadian climatic and physiographic conditions. For example, the sediment transport algorithms of the models need to be revised to better represent the relative contributions of stream-bank and sheet erosion to sediment loads in Canadian streams. The seasonal variability of parameters needs to be incorporated into the algorithms to improve the accuracy of predictions. The following text describes my significant research accomplishments and current research initiatives to achieve the long-term goal.
Conducted extensive laboratory experiments on flexible channel lining systems using state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities at the National Water Research Institute, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, Ontario and employed computational fluid dynamic methods in combination with laboratory experiment data to study these complex systems. Buoyancy forces can cause the flexible liner to form a wavy geometry that oscillates under turbulent shear and normal forces of flow. Due to high permeability, a small pressure gradient can generate flow through the liner and cause erosion of the bed. The resistance to flow of these flexible systems depends upon the surface roughness, three-dimensional geometry of the liner, vertical oscillations and permeability of the liner. This research was sponsored by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. Two refereed journal papers and four refereed conference papers have been published.
Studied principal physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that regulate the transport, transformation, deposition, and re-entry of stormwater runoff contaminants, including sediments, nutrients and bacteria during lateral movement of overland flow through vegetative filter strips, differing in vegetation type, density and width in Southern Ontario conditions. Conducted extensive field experiments to quantify the changes with input patterns in the mechanisms and processes affecting bacteria and nutrient passage through vegetative filter strips and to establish design procedures useful for the selection of vegetation type and the lateral width of filter strips effective for protecting stream water quality for specific site characteristics. Field experiments for this study were conducted at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute and Environmental Research Centre, Guelph, Ontario. Contributed in the development of a user’s friendly model that can significantly enhance the ability of managers of agricultural land to evaluate and select best management practices to meet environmental objectives for maintaining soil productivity and down-stream water quality. This research has been sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. One refereed journal paper and Six refereed conference papers have been published and one journal papers have been submitted for publication.
Receiving water quality concerns associated with increased construction activities in recent years in the Greater Toronto Area has prompted the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to evaluate design criteria for sediment control ponds employed during the construction period. The goal of this study is to evaluate the performance of sediment control ponds in construction sites and update current design criteria to ensure adequate suspended sediment removal efficiency of these ponds during catchment development. The scope of the field study was limited to monitoring the sediment control pond in the developing Greensborough subdivision in Markham. A numerical model was utilized to assist in examining the effects of various pond geometries on sediment removal efficiency. The monitoring results from the Greensborough pond were compared to the modelling results. Scenarios such as changing the pond outlet location, variation of permanent pool depth, and the addition of a sediment curtain (baffle) were tested. Insight provided by these simulations will aid in evaluating and updating design criteria for new ponds and testing the effectiveness of various alternatives for improving the performance of existing ponds. Two refereed journal paper have been published and one journal paper will be submitted by December 2006.
Since the 1980s, awareness has grown of the wide-ranging impacts of sediments and sediment-bound pollutants in streams, including impacts on downstream fisheries, recreation activities, reservoirs, harbours, and drinking water intake facilities. The main contaminants of concern include sediments and associated pollutants (e.g. phosphorus, heavy metals, pesticides, and bacteria). The sources of these contaminants include distributed or nonpoint sources in rural watersheds. The selection of effective source water protection strategies requires delineation of significant contaminant sources in the watershed and determination of their relative contribution to downstream loadings. To ascertain significant nonpoint sources of downstream contaminants requires an extensive network of sophisticated and/or labour intensive monitoring, which has not been possible primarily for economic reasons; and/or a reliable method to predict the significant sources. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the performance of water quality models in a small agricultural watershed, considering the hydrologic portion of the model only. Establishing the strengths and weaknesses of the hydrological portion of a watershed model is essential. The nutrient and sediment transport in a watershed model relies on the hydrologic response determined by the predicted water balance and flow. The watershed models evaluated in this study are SWAT, CANWET, and AnnAGNPS. This research is essential for the clarification of the role of potential evapotranspiration in watershed scale modeling. Additionally, some models developed outside of Canada are not as “user-friendly” as they could be since they do not accept climatic and/or water quality data in standard Canadian format and S.I. units for input. Further development and enhancement of these watershed-scale modeling tools will improve our scientific capabilities for protecting our water resources. Two refereed journal paper and two refereed conference papers have been published.
Municipal Infrastructure Design Reflecting Waterborne Disease Propagation
Public and private drinking water systems are vulnerable to meteorological hazards, power outages, wastewater outflows (upstream water quality) and the lack of continuous water quality testing, especially of raw source water. Between 1991 and 2001 there were at least 53 waterborne disease outbreaks in public systems, 89 in semi-public systems and 39 in private systems. The E. coli outbreak of Walkerton, Ontario in 2000 was one of the largest of these and had great impact through the loss of life, water treatment system, health care, business and tourism. This study examine key vulnerabilities in the water treatment system and inter-related systems (source water management, water distribution, public health, emergency response, health care and the economy). The goal of this research is to expose the chain reactions possible within these linked systems. Assuming a driving force of a high impact or extreme weather event (with little warning) substantial contamination of surface water, GWUDI, and shallow ground water aquifers can be expected. A significant power outage concurrent with the weather event would worsen the situation. This research focuses on two communities, one rural and one urban. Information will be gathered from public health officials, water treatment owners and operators, and the local business group in order to describe key linkages. To ascertain the effectiveness of the interdependencies and to assess the vulnerabilities within the system, we will pose “what if?” scenarios which focus on a breach in the water treatment system. This will enable us to follow through a simulated process in a real environment to establish the resilience and vulnerability of a community to the water treatment infrastructure. Finally, given the results from these simulations, it will be possible to provide recommendations and new tools to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to water treatment system failures.
Federal and Provincial governments are encouraging 60% recycling within municipalities and regions. A large quantity of compost is being produced, but not efficiently utilized. A sustainable, green technology has been developed that uses large volumes of compost material as engineered bio-filters. Uses include silt fencing and extensions for stormwater facilities among many others. These bio-filters provide a possible solution for further physical treatment of runoff along with biological and chemical treatment as well. The products to be tested are mesh tubes filled with compost material designed to remove contaminants from runoff. Test results are practically non-existent for compost from Canadian landfills and in Canadian climatic for physiographic conditions. This study will examine the effect of Canadian climatic and physiographic conditions on the performance of the bio-filter with different compost materials under various flow and contaminant loading conditions to assemble a statistically sound data set. This study will also quantify the importance of various compost material and bio-filter physical properties on contaminant removal efficiency through detailed intensive laboratory testing for a range of contaminants and compost materials with additives. This study will develop a feasible engineering design to incorporate the bio-filter in a stormwater management pond and evaluate its performance under natural storm events.
Over the past decades the water quality of Lake Simcoe has been declining. Excessive nutrient (phosphorus and nitrogen) levels are attributed to be one of the main sources. Excessive nutrients have resulted in the lakes inability to support cold water fisheries and excessive plant growth along the waterfront impair beaches, marinas and water front property (LSEMS, 2003). Atmospheric deposition of phosphorus is believed to be responsible for 23 to 56% of the total phosphorous entering the lake (Winter et al. 2002). Main sources of nutrient inputs to Lake Simcoe through atmospheric deposition may include quarries, industrial processes, agricultural fields, the Holland Marsh, and sod farms. Atmospheric input estimates have been based upon measured precipitation volume and its chemical composition. However pollutants entrained in the air stream can be returned to the ground or water sources by wet (episodic) and dry (continual) atmospheric deposition. Gases or particles removed by wet deposition are deposited to the surface by rain, sleet, snow or fog. Dry deposition deposits particles and gases in the absence of precipitation, namely by adsorption, impaction and settling (USGS-1, 2005). The main objective of this study is to develop more accurate methods and estimates of both wet and dry atmospheric deposition of nutrients on Lake Simcoe. The specific objectives are: (1) to calculate atmospheric wet deposition of nutrients on Lake Simcoe based on detailed analysis of spatial distribution of rainfall intensity data and rain water quality data; and (2) to calculate atmospheric dry deposition of nutrients on Lake Simcoe based on detailed analysis of wind velocity and direction data and air quality data. Special attention will be given to local point sources of air pollution in the vicinity of the lake.
More than half of the people of Ontario rely on rivers and lakes for raw drinking water sources. These water sources are susceptible to disruptions in quality resulting from accidental or intentional discharge of toxic and hazardous chemicals near an intake. Events such as transportation accidents, boat spills, pipeline breaks, and industrial accidents, can have significant impacts on water supplies. These systems are also vulnerable to waterborne disease due to wastewater outflows and agricultural stormwater runoff. The most common contaminants in drinking water sources in North America are petroleum products, bacteria, algae, ammonia, and pesticides. Monitoring, in the form of spot-sampling, relies entirely on taking field measurements. This method is fairly accurate but requires a long sample analysis time and is generally expensive. Typical online monitoring stations can measure only pH, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Turbidity and Temperature. They cannot, however, detect the most common contaminants, such as petroleum products, bacteria, algae, ammonia, and pesticides. Advancements in remote sensing are occurring rapidly. Laser Diagnostics Instruments International Inc. (LDI3) has developed a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Spectrometer and a Skalar-LDI FluoImager system that use multi-wavelength spectral fluorescence to determine dissolved organic matter and oil products in water instantly, continuously, and cost-effectively. The timely information provided by this technology offers promise to help authorities respond rapidly to spills and other sudden pollution discharge events and make appropriate adjustments in drinking water treatment and operations to ensure a secure supply. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the application of the Skalar-LDI FluoImager device for remote on-line water quality monitoring as an early warning system for raw drinking water sources. The first phase of research will involve extensive SFS and conventional laboratory analysis of samples of water collected from various locations of the Grand River and its tributaries, in order to identify representative differences in SFS features of water. In parallel to river water sample analysis, the same SFS analyzer can be used to analyze samples of common contaminant sources such as liquid manure and treated sewage treatment plant effluent. The second phase of the study will include continuous river water quality monitoring using the SFS analyzer, installed at selected locations.
The Clean Water Act recently passed in the legislature has put in motion a massive science-based effort across Ontario to better understand and protect our surface and groundwater drinking water sources. Nineteen geographically distinct Source Water Protection Teams were created across the province. An identified central requirement for all teams is the need for spatially complete base and thematic data and modeling tools. This research will focus on evaluation of water quality models for selected watersheds in Ontario to identify data requirements and data models required to optimally support watershed based Source Water Protection Plans. The main source of error in these water quality models is due to simplifying assumptions in descritization procedure and dealing with spatial heterogeneity in watershed characteristics and temporal variability in hydrologic processes. Weak components that have been identified to date include representation of spring hydrology and seasonal variability of hydrologic parameters and also significant gaps have been identified in modeling important features such as tile drainage, wetlands, hummocky terrain, and riparian buffers. Attention will be given to modify weak links and filling some of the research gaps.
During storm events runoff flows from land surfaces and spreads contaminants from their source to the entire ecosystem. Identification/quantification of contaminants, their sources and transport processes is an important consideration in development of improved watershed management strategies. Despite major progress in effective use of remote sensed data and integration of GIS technology in watershed-scale hydrologic modeling in recent years, there still remains a fundamental gap in our knowledge of transmission of water, suspended sediments and associated contaminants over the land surface and through shallow groundwater system. The main objective of this research is to develop an enhanced watershed-scale water quality model that would enable us to trace back pollutants to their sources more accurately and help us allocate management resources more efficiently. This research will focus on development of algorithms to determine the location, timing and frequency of overland flow in drainage ways exhibiting intermittent flow in selected upland areas in Southern Ontario; investigate evapotranspiration, snowmelt and runoff algorithms of models that need to be revised for improved performance in simulating spring conditions in Ontario; improve model algorithms to better represent the transport of sediments and associated contaminants from field to stream and transport processes within the stream; and incorporate new algorithms that deal with seasonal variability of sensitive parameters in the model to improve the accuracy of its predictions. Further development and enhancement of these watershed-scale water quality modeling tools will improve our scientific capabilities for protecting source waters in Ontario.
Prediction of Climate Change Effects on Source Water Quantity and Quality
Watershed-based drinking water source protection planning in Ontario is an important initiative aimed at providing a sustainable, safe, clean and affordable drinking water supply and healthy aquatic ecosystem. Increased intensity and frequency of occurrence of floods, droughts, ice-storms and significant increase in average air temperatures in response to climate change is a major concern for Canada's communities. The main goal of this research project is to quantify the long-term effects of climate change on source water quantity and quality for selected representative watersheds in Ontario. The effect of climate change on key hydrologic parameters such as precipitation and temperature will be studied and incorporated as input to watershed-scale water quality models to assess the expected long-term effects on groundwater recharge and streamflow quantity and quality for selected watersheds in Ontario. This research will extend the knowledgebase into three primary areas: (i) improved understanding on how sensitive Ontario watershed water budgets, groundwater recharge and streamflows are to the changes in spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall and air temperatures under various climate change scenarios; (ii) development of daily precipitation and air temperature time series for selected Ontario watersheds using weather generator models for various climate change scenarios based on statistical parameterization of the historic records and analysis of regional climate change model forecasts; and (iii) assessment of the effect of climate change scenarios on water budgets, groundwater recharge and streamflow quantity and quality for selected watersheds in Ontario using watershed-scale continuous water quality models. This research will help develop effective management practices and long-term strategies to protect source water quantity and quality against adverse effects of climate change in Ontario. The primary beneficiaries of this research project will be Conservation Authorities and Consultant Engineers who are involved in watershed management studies. The ultimate beneficiaries are the public and the wildlife, which will benefit from potential water quality improvements.
Development of Water Quality Data base for Watershed Model Evaluation
The public need to protect source water is now of prime importance, particularly in light of Walkerton tragedy. Source water protection is vital, especially in rural areas where it is the only protection available to the consumers. It is also recognized that land use activities can be a significant source of non-point pollution. To achieve water quality targets for intended uses, information is required on sources of pollutants such as sediments and nutrients loads associated with agricultural and other land use activities in the watershed. Modeling tools are available for the evaluation of non-point source pollution on a watershed scale, and appear to be applicable for assimilation capacity development. However, the water quality data (temporal distribution of pollutants loadings at the watershed outlet) required for the application of these modeling approaches is sparse in Ontario conditions. Provincial stream water quality data base (PWQMN) has been used to calibrate some of the watershed models. Unfortunately, although this data set provides extremely valuable information about the ambient quality of the provincial water resources, this data set can not be used to estimate annual, seasonal, or event loads of various pollutants in water systems. For sustainable protection of provincial water resources, it is crucial to estimate pollutant loadings realistically. This research will address above important gap so that, in a pilot watershed, a comprehensive water quality data set is developed for proper estimation of sediment and nutrients loads. This data set will not only be a direct support to the ongoing research work but would also support research objectives of other watershed modeling projects which aim to evaluate and improve existing hydrological models for better representation of Ontario hydrology. The specific objectives of the proposed study are: (1) To develop comprehensive water quality data set for one of the watersheds in Ontario which could be used to evaluate hydrologic models to estimate pollutant loads; and (2) To evaluate temporal pattern of pollutant loadings and their relationship with land use activities.
Evaluation of Oil & Grit Separator Technology for Stormwater Management
Pollution from urban stormwater runoff adversely affects many important rivers and lakes, can destroy aquatic habitats, and endanger human health. Stormwater systems are designed to remove pollutants from runoff after rainfall, particularly in highly urbanized areas where natural infiltration is very limited. The situation in the Greater Toronto Area is a perfect example of how adverse an effect uncontrolled stormwater can have on the surrounding environment. The largest contributor to the unsafe beaches along Lake Ontario comes from contaminated storm runoff. This summer eight out of ten beaches in the GTA were unsafe for swimming due to high bacteria levels. This has a major impact on the tourism industry and the image of the capital city of the province of Ontario. The main objective of this research is to develop stormwater treatment systems that can remove contaminants at higher efficiencies and also a wider range of contaminants, including fine sediments, oil/grease, bacteria, Chloride, Phosphorous, and metals. The focus of this research will be on evaluation of existing systems, using detailed laboratory experiments and numerical modeling, and development of new systems that exceed in reliability, efficiency and simplicity as well as being cost effective and easy to maintain. Proven treatment systems are in high demand due to strict regulations on stormwater management. Efficient, reliable and cost-effective stormwater treatment systems will continue to fill this demand, and the systems that can prove to have the best features will lead the industry. New concepts and innovative designs will help to expand the market and keep stormwater systems one step ahead of imposed stormwater regulations.
The Mackenzie River has several anomalous deep scour holes in a number of river channels in it’s delta. The proposed gas pipeline crossings has renewed interest in studying the stability of these scour holes. The main goal of this research project was to study flow velocity and bed shear stress distributions for one of the larger scour holes in the East Channel of the Mackenzie River delta to determine the stability of the scour hole and the risk of its migration upstream during various flow conditions. Environment Canada commissioned a detailed measurement of 3D flow velocities using an ADCP of a section in the East Channel. In this study, a 3D finite element k-ε turbulence flow model with enhanced wall functions was setup for the reach. The numerical model was calibrated using the flow survey data and was used to predict flow velocity and bed shear stress distributions in and around the scour hole. Following a detailed study of the threshold shear stress of the bed material, the numerical model can be effectively used to estimate the rate at which the scour hole may migrate upstream during flood flow spring events. The CFD model was capable of simulating the complex 3D flow in the river reach with reasonable accuracy. The numerical model was found to be a very useful and convenient tool in calculating flow velocities and average bed shear stress distribution in and around the scour hole for various flow scenarios. Two vortices were seen in the scour hole region. The larger vortex, located near the right bank, was slightly larger at higher flows whereas the smaller vortex, located near the left bank, decreased in size at higher flow scenarios. The area of highest flow velocity shifted toward the left bank in the elbow as the flow rate increased which explains the vortex shifting. The area directly upstream of the scour hole experienced the greatest levels of bed shear stress which may cause bed erosion during spring flood events. Slightly lower magnitudes of shear stress can be seen in the deepest part of the scour hole and also downstream from it.
Many urban rivers in Canada, including the Don River and the Humber River in Toronto have elevated Chloride levels in late winter and early spring due to road salt applications. The Chloride concentrations in these rivers remain above the guideline value for protection of aquatic life for extended period of time. The city of Toronto has initiated a long-term monitoring program to deal with this problem. The objectives of this collaborative research are: (1) to summarize the Chloride concentration and stream flow data at all monitoring stations and identify methods to fill in the gaps in the data using modeling techniques; (2) to develop a modified (with seasonal variability and site specific) calibration curve to convert continuous conductivity measurements to Chloride concentrations using grab sample laboratory analysis data; (3) to use the results from Tasks 1 and 2 to estimate average daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal/annual Chloride loads at monitoring stations for the period of record and conduct a mass balance; compare this data with road salt application rates in various watershed areas; (4) to conduct a statistical analysis of the Chloride concentration data to determine the probability/risk of exceedance beyond the 230 and 860 mg/L thresholds for short-term and long-term exposure limits for aquatic habitat at all monitoring stations; and (5) to recommend road salt management options such as optimum salt application rates in various sensitive areas and/or implementation of end-of-pipe control systems.
The Great Lakes are vast inland freshwater seas that play a vital role in the physical, social and economic life of North America. More than 30 million people inhabit the Basin, including about a third of Canada’s population. Eight of Canada’s largest cities including Toronto, Hamilton, Oshawa and Windsor sit in the Basin. The growing population and continuous economic development during the twentieth century has brought change to the Basin, not all of which has been positive. By the middle of the twentieth century, the signs of an Ecosystem under stress were clearly evident. Degradation of environmental quality can directly impair the viability and vitality of the region, since the economy and quality of life depend on a healthy Basin Ecosystem for its survival. To achieve a healthy, prosperous and sustainable Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem, 16 Areas of Concern (AOCs) were identified and Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) were established. RAPs have made considerable progress towards restoring environmental quality in AOCs. However, additional research, effort and resources are needed to make further advances. This research project will focus on development of effective management strategies to reduce loadings of nutrients, pathogens and trace contaminants from urban stormwater. The specific objectives are: (1) to evaluate the performance of new cost-effective technologies for treating of stormwater; (2) to develop and transfer technology and best management practices to assist municipalities in controlling stormwater quantity and quality; (3) to identify and rank waterways particularly susceptible to adverse stormwater effects to establish management priorities; (4) to provide support for implementing demonstration projects on new technologies that reduce stormwater impacts on receiving waters.
Through the use of a case study this research will investigate the impact of urbanization on the flooding response of a watershed. This will enable us to follow through a simulated process in a real environment to establish the resilience and vulnerability of a community to flooding. Given the results from these simulations, it will be possible to provide recommendations and new tools to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to flooding in the light of various climate change scenarios. The study reach for this thesis will be the Welland River. The entire Welland River Watershed is 880 square kilometres in size and flows in an easterly direction from its headwaters in Ancaster to its physical outlet at the Niagara River. The lower section of the river, from Port Davidson in the Township of West Lincoln downstream, has a slight gradient (only 4 m drop over 80 kilometres) and prone to flooding. Many hydraulic structures (dams, bridges, weirs, and two siphons that carry the river under the Welland Shipping Canal) have been built on this river and the hydraulics of flow (e.g. backwater effects and flooding) is further complicated due to operation of the power generating stations on the Niagara River. The main goal of this project is to develop a continuous watershed-scale water quantity simulation model for the Welland River and to develop a users’ friendly flood forecasting tool for flood risk management. The flood forecasting model will focus on the lower section of the river from Port Davidson downstream, where the river has a slight gradient and meandering. This study will investigate the flooding risk for selected communities along the Welland River using numerical simulations for various storm scenarios.
Credit Valley Conservation Rainfall Distribution Study
Overall, Ontario is experiencing an increase in the frequency and intensity of flood events. Increasingly severe storms are causing an escalation in flood damages across the Province (MNR, 2003). Historically the Credit River watershed has experienced flood conditions, primarily during the spring conditions. Records of flooding exist from 1797 with 54 recorded floods occurring over a span of 160 years (Credit Valley Conservation, 1990). A number of the events indicate significant damage to buildings and other structures. The Flood Damage Reduction Study carried out by the Authority in 1984 identifies 22 flood damage centres, which involve buildings and other structures. The flood damage study indicates that flood damages occur at the 1:5 year design event level for 16 out of the 22 flood damage centres. The potential frequency of flooding, flood depths and proximity of private structures, results in a high flood risk to life as well as property. The total estimated average annual flood damage value for the damage centres is $7,552,510. This study is intended to focus on temporal and spatial changes in rainfall patterns and runoff responses in communities within the Credit River Watershed. A meteorological data (precipitation and temperature information) will be arranged in an hourly format or finer and will vary in accordance with the topography and geology of the watershed. This information will than be used to replicate spatially dynamic storm events. These spatial and time dependant changes in rainfall will be evaluated using the various rainfall gauges near or adjacent to the watershed and to conduct a spatial and dynamic assessment of major rainfall events. The analysis provides insight into the ability of flood sensitive segments of communities and institutions within the watershed to adapt to variations in the regional hydrologic cycle. The specific objectives are: (1) to evaluate the influence and sensitivity of spatial variability, speed and direction of major rainfall events on runoff in various locations within the Watershed. Radar data from Toronto Pearson Airport will be collected for recorded events to confirm the associated assumptions related to size, speed and direction of precipitation; and (2) to identify and highlight effective adaptive options that limit flood damages and increase the capacity of communities to cope with flooding. Climate change scenarios used in previous CVC studies will be made available to examine potentially beneficial adaptive options in the context of extending the coping range and decreasing vulnerability of communities to future floods under climate change.