Monitoring Programs

The MRCA partners with several provincial and federal agencies in a watershed-wide water monitoring network. The network collects data on the quantity and quality of our groundwater and surface water resources, streamflows and water levels, weather and snow conditions.

Flood Forecast Monitoring

A network of streamflow and water level gauges throughout the watershed forms a key component of the Authority’s flood forecasting and warning system. Many of these gauges are accessed by satellite and provide important real time information. The data is also used in a variety of water management studies. The Conservation Authority also uses manual staff gauges on many of the smaller streams. Ontario Power Generation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Water Surveys of Canada are key partners in the operation of the system.

Information on snow depth and water content is collected at seven monitoring stations located throughout the watershed. This data is especially useful during the spring melt when streamflows and water levels are at their highest. The information is also very useful for wildlife management purposes and tracking climate change.

Upper Mattagami River Watershed Statistics

Watershed statistics reports are based on snow course readings and dam operations. The MRCA, Ontario Power Generation, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry collect this information every 2 weeks from the onset of snow until the end of spring melt. Reports are posted from March 1 onward and can be found on our Upper Mattagami River Watershed Statistics page.

Current OPG Dam Operations can be viewed here.

Gillies Lake Conservation Area Live Weather

Although weather forecasts and statistics are obtained from Environment Canada and other providers, the Conservation Authority has its own weather station at Gillies Lake. The site can be accessed here if you want to get up to date information on rainfall, temperature and wind.

Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network

Groundwater levels and quality are monitored by the Authority through the Ministry of the Environment’s Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN). There are currently four monitoring wells in place which are sampled yearly for water quality.

Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network

Since 2007 the Authority has been collecting surface water quality data on the Mattagami and Porcupine River systems under the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network (PWQMN). In partnership with the Ministry of the Environment, samples are collected eight times a year and the water is tested for 35 different parameters including water chemistry, nutrients and the presence of heavy metals.