The Grand River watershed includes all the land drained by the Grand River and its tributaries.
It is 6,800 square kilometres (2,800 square miles) and is the largest watershed in southern Ontario.
It's home to close to one million people and includes the cities of Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo. Cities, towns and villages make up about five per cent of the land.
It is also an intensive agricultural area, with farms making up about 70 per cent of the watershed.
The Grand starts in the Dufferin Highlands at an elevation of 525 metres (1,722 feet) above sea level. It flows south about 280 kilometres (174 miles) to Lake Erie at Port Maitland, which is about 174 metres (571 feet) above sea level.
- See a map of the Grand River watershed.
- Four other rivers feed into the Grand: the Conestogo, Nith, Speed and Eramosa
- The combined length of all of the rivers and streams is about 11,000 kilometres
- The watershed crosses four climate zones: Dundalk Upland, Huron Slopes, South Slopes and Lake Erie counties.
- It crosses two forest zones: Alleghanian and Carolinian
- The GRCA manages floods and keeps the rivers flowing in dry weather with a network of seven reservoirs.
- 80 species at risk are found in the watershed.
- More than 90 species of fish are found in the river system, about half of all species in Canada.
- Close to 250 species of birds have been reported at Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area.
- Forest cover in the watershed was as low as five per cent in the early 1900s, but today forests cover about 19 per cent of the land.
- River flows, reservoir levels, weather and water quality are all tracked in real-time by a large network of gauges that feed their data to the GRCA website around the clock.
- Municipal water systems draw their water from wells and the river system, in contrast to most major Ontario communities, which depend on the Great Lakes.