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Floods, streamflow - Partner Appreciation Evening

Learn about some of the things that impact flooding and streamflow at partner appreciation evening.


Ausable Bayfield Conservation to host partner appreciation evening on Thursday, March 21, 2019
Trevor Dickinson, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, to speak at local event on Climate Change and Development in Rural Areas: Impacts on Streamflow and Floods in Southern Ontario

Protecting water, soil, and living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds is only possible thanks to the work of many community partners, according to staff at the local conservation authority. Staff members say they want to say ‘Thank you’ to those community partners at a partner appreciation evening in March. Ausable Bayfield Conservation is hosting the evening on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Ironwood Golf Club, 70969 Morrison Line, 2 km east of Exeter. There is no fee to attend the event but you are asked to please reply in advance to Sharon Pavkeje at, by Thursday, March 14, 2019, for meal numbers, if you would like to attend. Visit or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more. If you have special dietary needs, you are asked to inform organizers in advance.  

The Partner Appreciation Evening starts with a social time at 5 p.m. followed by a light supper at about 5:30 p.m. The formal programme begins about 6 p.m. or a little later with presentation of the Conservationist of the Year Award as well as Years of Service Awards for directors and staff. The awards are to be followed by the keynote presentation by Trevor Dickinson, Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph. He is to speak on the topic of Climate Change and Development in Rural Areas: Impacts on Streamflow and Floods in Southern Ontario.

Increased awareness of extreme weather and changes to our climate have forced us to take a closer look at the data to determine what is happening in southern Ontario, according to the speaker. Temperatures have been climbing over the past 100 years in Ontario, and winter temperatures have risen at the greatest rate, according to the presenter. Data indicate Ontario’s winter hydrology is changing as winter temperatures have risen, winter snowmelts have become frequent, and other changes have been tracked. Changes in streamflow patterns include the number of floods and the timing of flooding – for instance, winter streamflows are increasing. The patterns of rural and urban river flows have also changed in recent decades, these changes being most pronounced in highly urbanized watersheds. Even when the number of rainfall events, the amount of rain, and the severity of rainstorms have remained relatively steady, the number of runoff events during the growing season has increased dramatically in urban watersheds. Some of the changes to river flow patterns may reflect changes in our climate, and some of the changes reflect land use changes such as urban development.

This year’s presenter grew up in Toronto and went off to the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) in Guelph for his first undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA), majoring in Agricultural Engineering. He took a final year in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto to obtain a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) degree. The keynote speaker went on to complete a Master of Science in Agriculture (MSA) degree in Hydrology at Guelph. Later, he earned a PhD degree at Colorado State University in Hydrology, Hydraulics, and Applied Statistics. Upon completion of his university studies, he took a faculty position with the Water Resources Engineering group in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph. He has continued to enjoy research activities into his retirement as Professor Emeritus.

The keynote speaker said he has thoroughly enjoyed teaching and learning with many undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, exploring topics related to watershed hydrology in southern Ontario. Those topics include: characteristics of extreme rainfall; erosion, sediment and phosphorus yields; and impacts of climate change and urbanization.

During his undergraduate years, Dickinson spent two summers working for the Conservation Authorities Branch of the Province of Ontario. This work took him to the Grand and Grey Sauble Conservation Authorities, and provided him with the chance to meet and learn from some of the conservation pioneers in Ontario, including Mac Coutts, Mac Kirk, Craig Leuty and Art Latornell. This year’s keynote speaker said the experience of meeting such mentors significantly influenced his life. 

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