Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson

Bill Thompson is the Manager of Integrated Watershed Management at Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, where his role is to coordinate and support the work of colleagues and external partners in developing and implementing plans to protect and restore the health of Lake Simcoe’s tributaries and aquifers.

Watershed Planning to Promote Implementation: 10 Years of Experience From the Lake Simcoe Watershed

This presentation will share experiences from a decade in developing, implementing, and reporting on subwatershed plans in the Lake Simcoe basin. Nested within an overarching basin-wide plan, this suite of subwatershed plans identified priority areas for local action for each of the lake’s tributaries. Accompanying each subwatershed plan was a companion implementation plan, which transferred priorities into SMART recommendations, and allocated responsibility for action to LSRCA and its partner organizations. A set of key metrics was identified, and a process of annual tracking and reporting was developed to ensure that the subwatershed plans remained top-of-mind and implementation progress was achieved. In practice, this annual reporting process provided a framework to allow LSRCA and its partners to balance accountability with flexibility as new information and new opportunities arose. Through this process of science-based decision making, partner engagement, and regular reporting, LSRCA and its partners were able to overcome the classic “implementation gap” and complete over 90% of the targeted actions in these subwatersheds. This presentation will share lessons learned from this process, and will look forward to potential future evolution of the subwatershed planning program.

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