A Guide for Actively Managing Watershed-Scale Numerical Models in Ontario

This guidance document was prepared using funding provided by the Province of Ontario through the Source Water Protection Program.   

The report was prepared by staff from the Oak Ridges Moraine Groundwater Management Program (ORMGP) and was supported by staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, as well as from the Credit/Toronto/Central Lake Ontario (CTC) and the Lake Erie Source Water Protection Programs (SWP).  A peer review committee was also established to provide additional guidance and support through the development of the document. 

Numerical models are effective tools to assist with decision-making in water allocation, protection of water sources, and for risk-reduction policies for extreme conditions (e.g., flood and drought). Acting on this, recognition, preparation, and use of numerical models is now routinely required for various water resources management initiatives across the province.

The work inherent in watershed-scale numerical modelling, specifically the need for the assembly, review and analysis of large collections of data, results in a tremendous synthesis of water resources information across Ontario’s watersheds. This numerical model driven synthesis of water related information is now recognized as an effective and ongoing watershed management tool for Ontario. 

It is intended that this guide will raise awareness of the need to reposition Ontario’s water managers to integrate numerical modelling as a standard water management tool for developing policies, infilling data gaps, impact assessment, scenario analyses, communicating the behaviour of complex environmental systems to stakeholders, and decision making with regards to a wide range of water resources concerns. It is also intended to equip water managers with the ‘know how’ to effectively manage the numerical modelling pathway so that Ontario may capitalise on the full potential of numerical modelling.

A Guide for Actively Managing Watershed-Scale Numerical Models in Ontario