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Stormwater Master Plan

Stormwater pond

Our city. Our water. Our future.

The City of Waterloo is currently in the stormwater master planning stage with a master plan expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The ultimate goal of the master plan is to protect our rivers, streams and ground water - for now and for the future.

A stormwater master plan will provide the city with a preferred stormwater management strategy to identify, protect and enhance natural features,ecologicial function and biophysical integrity. The plan will assist staff in appropriately managing risks through the establishment of environmental targets for water quality, water quantity, erosion, infiltration (water balance) and guidance with respect to the protection of natural features. The stormwater master plan will also address infrastructure issues, such as flooding, and form part of the overall asset management program. The plan will establish stormwater management policy and guidelines and will also address stormwater infrastructure and identify and prioritize identified works.

Public engagement

Public information centre - Oct. 30, 2018

The city has initiatiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) Study for a watercourse erosion master plan. This work is a subcomponent of the larger stormwater management master plan that is currently being completed and will enable the city to advance the detailed design for creek bank stabilization/erosion projects ahead of the final master plan. The main goal of the study is to provide a series of preferred alternatives for the protection, management and restoration of the watercourses within the City of Waerloo and to prioritize the identified works.

Please join us

Share your ideas and vision about what we can do to preserve our local watercourses, creeks and rivers:

Date: Oct. 30, 2018
Time: 5 to 7 p.m. (presentation begins at 6 p.m.)
Place: Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, Bauer Room #202, 101 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo

If you are unable to attend the public meeting and would like to provide any comments on the study, or require further information, please contact the project manager identified at the top of this page.   

Public information centre - Nov. 14, 2017

On Nov. 14, residents came out to share their ideas and vision about what we can do at home, in the workplace and in neighbourhoods to reduce runoff and prevent pollutants from entering our waterways. 

Public participation will form an integral part of the Class EA Study to ensure that the ongoing concerns of the public and affected groups within the study area are identified, documented and assessed. 

If you are unable to attend the public meeting and would like to provide any comments on the study, or for any further information on the study, please contact the project manager listed at the top of this page. Information presented at this public information is included below, along with a comment form.

Please note: All personal information included in a submission - such as name, address, telephone number and property location - is collected, maintained and disclosed by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change for the purpose of transparency and consultation. The information is collected under the authority of the Environmental Assessment Act or is collected and maintained for the purpose of creating a record that is available to the general public as described in s.37 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Personal information you submit will become part of a public record that is available to the general public unless you request that your personal information remain confidential. For more information, please contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's Freedom of Information and Privacy Co-ordinator at (416) 327-1434.  

The study

In fulfillment of Ontario's environmental assessment requirements, the stormwater master plan will follow the master planning approach (number two) in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act as per the Municipal Engineer's Association Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (MEA), October 2000, as amended in 2007 and 2011 and will satisfy the requirements of Schedule A, A+ and B projects and wil identify future Schedule C projects.

Aquafor Beech Ltd. will be conducting stream erosion assessments as part of the stormwater master plan project. The study covers water courses throughout the City of Waterloo.

As part of the erosion assessment, the consultant will be examining the creeks including those located on private property. The objective of the work is to locate erosion problems and compile a list of these areas within the city. It is anticipated that the consultant will be working on the stream assessments over the next few months and work began May, 2017. Below is a map indicating the limits of this project. 

Stormwater study area



Stormwater runoff is water that flows over land and hard surfaces - including roads, driveways and rooftops - into drainage systems and then directly into our creeks, lakes and wetlands. It comes from rain and snow as well as the water you use to clean your car and water your lawn, among other sources.

As our landscape changes from undeveloped, natural areas to cities with houses, businesses, roads and parking lots, the amount of "permeable" or "porous" area is reduced and replaced with hard surfaces that do not absorb stormwater. Stormwater is collected via storm drains located at the curbs of roads and then moved via a piping system to large mainline pipes. Eventually, the stormwater runoff flows into the Grand River.

Unlike sewage, stormwater is untreated when it enters our waterways - most of it flows directly from our streets and gutters into our creeks, rivers and lakes. Our streams provide significant environmental, commercial and recreational benefits, and it is important for us to protect these uses from the threat of stormwater pollution.