Watershed Description

Essex Region Watershed

The Essex Region watershed is approximately 1,681 square kilometers in size, with a population of about 375,000. The watershed predominantly consists of a relatively flat clay plain with a few sandy areas, primarily in the southern portion of the Region. The principal land use in the Region is agriculture, with only 7.5% of the area having natural areas of forests, wetlands, prairies, and alvar.

Elevation ranges from approximately 173 meters above sea level near the shores of the Great Lakes to around 196 meters above sea level throughout most of the Region. The highest level of elevation is found near Leamington where it climbs to 227 meters above sea level.

The Essex Region Watershed consists of three major watershed areas which drain into Lake Erie, the Detroit River, and Lake St. Clair. There are 23 smaller rivers and creeks that make up these three major watersheds, and numerous dredged ditches, and tile drains throughout the area that were installed in order to improve the drainage over the flat terrain and also provide better conditions for crop growth and tillage.

Based on the 2001 Census of Canada, the population for the City of Windsor, Essex County, and the Township of Pelee increased 7.0% from the 1996 Census (from 350,329 to 374,975).

Population projections from the September 2001 Working Report of the Windsor-Essex Regional Analysis for Essex County municipalities indicate an increase of some 50,000 to 90,000 residents between 1996 and 2016, with growth rates between 14% to 26% over this period. Projections show that growth in the City of Windsor may be modest, while the municipalities of LaSalle, Tecumseh, and Lakeshore may show the highest growth rates in the Region.