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  Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
   Who We Are and What We Do


  RVCA is one of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities. We are a community based environmental protection agency that works closely with municipal, provincial and federal government partners, landowners and community groups to maintain and improve the natural resources in the Rideau watershed. The RVCA promotes an integrated watershed approach — one that balances human, environmental and economic needs. Our success is based on local initiative, watershed jurisdiction and partnerships in resource management. We aim to improve water quality, protect water supplies, reduce flood risk, improve watershed habitats erosion hazard and increase conservation lands.



Our Mission
We work hard to be the best source of reliable information, experienced advice and cost-effective services in water and related land conservation delivered to individuals, families, businesses and government decisionmakers at all levels within the Rideau Valley watershed.

Our Vision
Our vision for the future is a healthy watershed.




Our budget is over 9 million dollars a year. Municipal levy makes up about half. Other funding sources include grants, user fees, donations and fundraising.

Our staff of 65 includes professional engineers, professional planners, forestry specialists, biologists, field technicians, interpreters and other environmental specialists. See our staff list here.

Flood Protection

RVCA provides services to reduce the threat of loss of life and property damage through flood forecasting and warning. For more info, click here.

Low Water Response

We coordinate the local Low Water Response Team that provides information, leadership and preparedness in the event of a drought.

Environmental Planning

RVCA professionals review and provide input for changes to municipal planning documents. We offer technical advice regarding environmental issues for legal and development inquiries. This includes the review of stormwater management plans for local municipalities. Learn more about planning.

Floodplain Regulations

The RVCA regulates construction in environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, shorelines and waterways. Read more about regulations.

Part 8 Septic System Approvals

The Ottawa Septic System Office (partnership between the City of Ottawa, Mississippi Valley Conservation, RVCA and South Nation Conservation) approves septic system construction in the City of Ottawa.

Septic Re-Inspection Program

We offer a septic re-inspection program to interested municipalities. There are currently five municipalities participating in the Mississippi and Rideau Watersheds.

Fish Habitat Protection

The RVCA, on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, reviews proposed works in or near lakes, wetlands and watercourses and provides advice on their impacts to fish habitat.


Subwatershed Reporting
We publish environmental reports on subwatershed health for municipal and public use.

Water Quality Monitoring
RVCA staff sample rivers and streams to better understand watershed health. We also participate in the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network and the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network.

Groundwater Protection
The RVCA participates in the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network, collecting water quality and quantity data from 15 local wells.

Source Water Protection
The RVCA supports the work of theMississippi Rideau Source Protection committee. You can learn more by visiting www.mrsourcewater.ca.

Tree Planting Programs RVCA provides technical advice, planting assistance and financial support to landowners interested in planting trees. Visit our tree planting page.

Conservation Lands
The RVCA maintains and protects over 2,300 hectares of sensitive natural environments
including nine developed conservation areas. See map.

Stewardship Assistance Programs
RVCA works with landowners and other partners to encourage positive land stewardship activities. This includes free technical assistance and grant dollars through Clean Water Programs and through the Shoreline Naturalization Program.

Environmental Information
The RVCA’s LandOwner Resource Centre provides technical information services to the general public and member municipalities. Environmental Education We offer exceptional outdoor education programming at Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas. Over 10,000 children visit each year. Visit our outdoor education pages.


RVCA supports the conservation fundraising work of our colleagues at the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation. The Foundation raises money and
in-kind gifts for the:

  • Rivercare Program (Conservation Areas, City Stream Watch, Reforestation, Stewardship programs)
  • Landcare Program (Carbon Neutral Tree Planting,Environmental Land Fund, Land Donations, Memorial Tree Planting, Steve Simmering Conservation Land

info@rvcf.ca | Website: www.rvcf.ca

      Our Watershed
The Rideau River drains an area of over 4,000 square kilometres of Eastern Ontario. The main stem of the river flows in a northerly direction from Upper Rideau Lake near Newboro to the City of Ottawa where it tumbles over Rideau Falls into the Ottawa River. Total length of the longest part of the watershed is about 180 kilometres. From the highest point in the valley (Carnahan Lake in the Tay sub-watershed) to the Ottawa River is a drop of 204 metres in elevation. About 620,000 people live in the watershed including a large part of the City of Ottawa, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Canada. There are 18 municipalities within the valley and most people, outside of Ottawa, draw their drinking water from the river or from groundwater. Click here to download a map.