Dams, Water Crossings and Channelizations

The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act

 

baptiste high falls dam
Baptiste High Falls Dam - Photo Credit: MNR

The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for managing dams in Ontario through legislation, policies, standards, and guidelines to ensure dams and water control structures are suitably located, constructed, operated and maintained. The most important legislative tool used to do this is the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA) and its associated regulation on dam construction (O. Reg 454/96).

 

The LRIA requires dam owners to obtain MNR approval for the construction of new dams and certain repairs and alterations to existing dams. LRIA approval is also required for certain water crossings and channelization works due to their potential impacts on physical and biological processes and aquatic habitat in river and stream systems.

 

The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act Administrative Guide outlines the broad requirements of the LRIA including roles and responsibilities, application of the Act, and steps of the LRIA review and approval process. In addition to this guide, MNR has developed a companion series of technical bulletins and best management practices designed to provide detailed technical guidance on the design, operation and management of dams. The Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act Administrative Guide, technical bulletins and best management practices can be accessed by downloading the documents below.

 

Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act Administrative Guide (PDF, 131 Kb)
Published Date: August 24, 2011

 

Technical Bulletins:

Provide technical standards and criteria used in the review of applications for approval under the LRIA (under Section 14 and 16). The standards and criteria contained in the technical bulletins only apply to the construction of new works and certain repairs and alterations to existing dams.

Best Management Practices:

Provide guidance to dam owners for ensuring the ongoing safety of dams and public safety while engaging in activities around dams and water control structures. These best management practices are intended as voluntary guidance and recommendations only.

Related Publications/ Factsheets: