Our Watershed our Blueprint: Peterborough Watershed Plan

stormwater pond overlayed with project identifier including hills, a river and the Peterborough wave

Project logo with hills a river and peterborough wave symbol

"Our" - Belonging or associated with; a collective approach to watershed planning that recognizes the interconnectedness of the watershed system and its various impacts on the Peterborough community, neighbouring municipalities and indigenous communities.

"Blueprint" - a guide for making something; a plan or design that explains how something may be achieved.

No matter where you live or work, we are all located in a watershed. A watershed is simply defined as an area of land that drains surface water and groundwater into a river or stream. Protection and enhancement of a watershed and the water resource system, including surface water and groundwater features, is a priority action for the City of Peterborough. 

The watershed planning process will be a collaborative effort, dedicated to the protection and enhancement of our water resources.

City scape

Use the mapping application to see what watershed you live in and discover what it has to offer.

Farm land
Learn more

Find answers about the watershed planning process, how it might impact you, and how you can participate.

Lock with water rushing

Your opinion matters to us. Please continue to check here for opportunities to provide input on this project.


All public documentation and other project materials are located here. This section will be updated when new information becomes available.

Engagement material and resources
  • Phase 1 of our public engagement is now complete. The Engagement Summary and the full Engagement Report are available now for review. 
  • On December 3, 2019 the City organized a Stakeholder Workshop with a diverse group of individuals from across the City and surrounding area. You can view the workshop summary report to learn more about what we heard. 
  • Stakeholders and the public will be invited to provide feedback on the Draft Watershed Plan. Stay tuned for details on a Virtual Public Meeting and Online Survey which will take place in early 2021. 

Project reports and information
  • View the study area and discover our watersheds using Story Maps
  • The projects Vision, Goals and Objectives were completed as part of Phase 1. These guiding principles were developed with significant input from the public, stakeholders and our Watershed Coordinating Committee and Technical Working Group.  
  • The Phase 1 Watershed Characterization Report is available in DRAFT format. Please contact the Project Manager, Ian Boland to request a copy of the report. 
  • Phase 2 Technical Reports are being finalized, these will include reports on Groundwater Resources, Water Quality, Natural Heritage Systems, Flooding and Natural Hazards, Climate Change, and Cumulative Effects. 
 Phase 2 Technical Reports
  • Groundwater Resources – Groundwater refers to the water under the Earth’s surface found in cracks and spaces in the sand, soil, and rock. This report presents an understanding of how this groundwater flows and uses a model to assess elements of the water cycle (e.g., runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration) under current and future conditions. The results will inform plans and measures to monitor and protect the natural functions of the subwatershed.
  • Water Quality Modeling – All subwatersheds included in this study ultimately drain to the Otonabee River, which is the primary source of drinking water for the city. The Water Quality Modeling Report assesses annual nutrient and pollutant concentrations, including salt and phosphorus, generated from each subwatershed. A model is used to look at existing and future conditions, as well as the impact that existing stormwater management facilities have on improving water quality. 

  • Natural Heritage Systems – This report defines a comprehensive Natural Heritage System (a network of interconnected natural features and areas) at the watershed and subwatershed scale. It addresses potential impacts of future development and climate change on the natural heritage system and discusses strategies and design criteria to reduce the risks associated with climate change. 

  • Flooding and Natural Hazards – This report identifies any flood-susceptible areas or infrastructure and assesses potential impacts to these natural hazards under various climate change scenarios. Priority projects will be identified to manage and reduce the risks associated with natural hazards, and watershed-wide strategies will be identified to promote resilience. 

  • Climate Change – Each of the technical reports consider current and future climate change effects at the watershed and local scale. The climate change report will consolidate these findings and present recommendations for increasing resiliency and reducing climate change risks.

  • Cumulative Effects – This report will assess cumulative effects on the watershed from key stressors such as development, agricultural land conversion and climate change. The report will review how changes over the last several decades have impacted the watershed and assess future changes based on growth and climate projections. 

Harper Creek Subwatershed Study

The Harper Creek Subwatershed is a 262 hectare (ha) area in the City of Peterborough. Harper Creek is a cold water stream, and home to a variety of fish species, including Brook Trout. The Subwatershed contains one of the largest natural features in Peterborough, Harper Park and the Harper Creek Provincially Significant Wetland.

The purpose of the Subwatershed Study (SWS) is to create a detailed inventory of the water resource system, including the natural heritage features, functions, and cultural values of the Harper Creek subwatershed. The SWS will also recommend a land use plan, detailed management strategy, and stormwater management strategy that satisfies the policy direction of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and the City of Peterborough Official Plan.

Engagement material and resources
  •  Please check back soon for opportunities to engage with our Project Team.
Project reports and information
  •  Please check back soon for project reports and information. 


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