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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Parks Canada Reaches Water Management Decision for Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO, January 9, 2011 – The Superintendent of the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) National Historic Site advises that Parks Canada is reaffirming its commitment to follow an established operating policy governing water management decisions for lakes Simcoe and Couchiching.

This resolution follows more than a year of analysis and discussion, and a unanimously endorsed recommendation from the TSW Water Management Advisory Council (WMAC) for the ongoing use of what has been historically referred to as the “Rule Curve”

The rule curve serves as a target or guide for water levels throughout the year. It is based on years of data and water level averages that give an indication of where flows and water levels need to be on any given date in order to address multiple conflicting demands, chief among them, protecting public safety. First used nearly 100 years ago, this water management approach was reviewed and endorsed by independent engineering consultants as recently as 1988.

Between September 2010 and October 2011 presentations were received by the WMAC from the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority, Parks Canada and spokespersons representing recreational users and property owners. Parks Canada also received input from engineering consultants for the Holland Marsh Drainage System Canal Improvement Project. As a result of this process, Parks Canada is developing a public awareness campaign to provide opportunities for better understanding and appreciation for the complexities affecting the Trent-Severn Waterway in general and specific to lakes Simcoe and Couchiching,

The Trent-Severn Waterway is Canada’s longest national historic corridor with 44 locks including two hydraulic lift locks, a marine railway flight lock and unique history linking the heartland of Ontario from the Murray Canal on Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. Parks Canada monitors and manages water levels in the watershed throughout the year to mitigate flooding and protect public safety, accommodate wildlife habitat and public utility needs, and provide for navigation of this historically significant waterway. 

Fact Sheet: Management of Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching

Pat Newson
Communications Officer
Trent-Severn Waterway
National Historic Site of Canada
(705) 750-4900