Watergate - uncovering the truth behind water management and planning practices occurring in Ottawa’s west end

On November 17th, 2011 the Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association (KBCA) presented “Watergate” a public forum on water, stormwater and wastewater management issues in Ottawa’s West End.

Glen Cairn resident Faith Blacquiere, provided an excellent presentation outlining her perspectives on stormwater and wastewater management in Ottawa’s west end.  Faith’s experience has been gained through researching the causes of the frequent flooding that has plagued Glen Cairn, and researching alternative causes of flooding which were not considered in the Kanata North and Stittsville flood investigations. Details of Faith’s research  can be found at her blog:



Paul Renaud from the South March Highland Carp River Conservation Inc. (SMH-CRC) also made a presentation.  Paul outlined the importance of the South March Highlands forest and wetland areas and their continued connectivity to the Green Belt as key elements in maintaining both water quality and in regulating water run-off in Ottawa’s west end thereby mitigating downstream impacts. Paul’s extensive research into the South March Highlands has led to Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Environment recent recognition of the Kizell Pond Wetland as a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) .  A copy of his presentation and further analysis can be found at:


The presentations confirmed that the root causes of flooding in the west end are actually Ottawa-wide issues. A long list of issues confront the city and its citizens:  insufficient investment in sewer infrastructure, insufficient city oversight of developers,  the lack of respect for green infrastructure, inadequate environmental standards, weaknesses in the planning & approvals processes, a disregard for public safety, the generally piece-meal development approvals processes that ignore cumulative effects, a chronic disregard for engineering concerns in matters pertaining to hydrology, a lack of consequences for developers who violate conditions of subdivision development, and an un-engaged city council which often places the onus of exposing mistakes and poor management practices onto citizens and community groups .




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