"We have involved a lot of skilled people who are eager to do their part to improve local water quality and help resolve this issue," said Randy Hope, Mayor of Chatham-Kent and the project's co-chair. "What we need is financial backing so we can get on with the job."
The PRC steering committee met in Woodstock on February 23rd to determine the project's priorities. They approved the proposed implementation plan, budget and financing strategy. Most notably, the PRC will proceed with nine demonstration projects, subject to financing, including:
- Three edge of field phosphorus removal projects
- Three in-field blind inlet phosphorus removal projects
- Three treatment technologies in the municipal drain system
The Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission recently released a report urging bold action to identify and implement approaches to restore the health of Lake Erie.
The PRC is among the principal voluntary initiatives included in the Canada-Ontario Action Plan released yesterday. The action plan is aimed at meeting the 2016 commitment between Canada and the U.S. to a 40 per cent reduction in the total phosphorus entering Lake Erie. There is also a commitment among Ohio, Michigan and Ontario to reduce phosphorus to the western basin by 40 per cent by 2025.
"As farmers, our commitment to taking care of the land and water is strong, which is why we're working collaboratively to find and use the best, most affordable and practical drainage and water management solutions," said Mark Reusser, co-chair of the PRC and Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
The PRC represents agricultural organizations, municipalities, conservation authorities, First Nations, drainage professionals, and environmental non-governmental organizations. It is dedicated to developing a suite of effective land management and drainage solutions for agriculture, in cooperation with partners, for reducing phosphorus and improving water quality in the Thames River. Details of the collaborative, its work and a full listing of steering committee members is at thamesriverprc.com