The Niagara River
The Niagara River carries an annual average flow of 5,700 cubic meters per second from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Flowing north from Lake Erie, the Niagara River drops some 100 metres in water elevation over a distance of 58 kilometers. The river contributes 83% of the total tributary waters flowing into Lake Ontario. The vast majority of this water comes from four Great Lake basins (Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior), all of which are upstream of the Niagara River. In addition to these flow contributions from the Great Lakes, a small volume of water also comes from the Welland River basin.
The Welland River
The Welland River stretches 135 km, and has a catch basin spanning roughly 880km2 from its origin in Hamilton to its historical Niagara River outlet in Chippawa. The entire Welland River watershed is comprised of many tributaries such as Lyons Creek, Draperís Creek, Coyle Creek, Forks Creek, Oswego Creek and Beaver Creek, to name a few.
The major land use in the watershed is agriculture (60%). The other land uses are comprised primarily of urban and rural development.
In 1987 the Niagara River was listed as one of 43 Areas of Concern (for more information about the Area of Concern and why we are concerned please click here).