Water balance recharge
Recharge areas are the areas of land over which precipitation in the form of rain or snow infiltrates into the ground and flows to an aquifer. Recharge areas tend to be characterized by permeable and porous soils such as sand or gravel. These soils allow water to percolate downward and replenish the water system.
A recharge area is considered to be significant when it helps to maintain the water level in an aquifer that supplies drinking water, or groundwater to a cold-water ecosystem that is dependent on this recharge to maintain its ecological function. Recharge can occur in all areas where the ground surface is permeable and groundwater is below surface.
To ensure that groundwater recharge is maintained throughout the Lake Simcoe watershed, we developed the Water Balance Recharge Policy in 2019. This policy is similar to and builds on the water balance recharge policies within the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan, but applies to the entire Lake Simcoe watershed and is not limited to the Wellhead Protection Area – Q2 (an area where activities that reduce recharge may be a threat). The aim of the policy is to ensure groundwater recharge is maintained through the development processes by utilizing advanced stormwater management practices such as Low Impact Development.
The Water Recharge Policy document establishes goals for the different areas where recharge occurs and establishes the maximum allowable infiltration deficit before offsetting will be applicable.