Rivers and streams provide us with many social, cultural, and economic benefits. Rivers are an essential component of the water cycle and are an important source of drinking water for many Ontarians. They are a significant source of renewable energy, and moderate the local climate by absorbing and releasing heat. Rivers also provide a home for numerous plant, fish, and animal species, provide us with sources of food, and allow us to access many recreation activities such as swimming, fishing, and canoeing.
Rivers and streams face a number of challenges and many are at risk from the impacts of threats such as pollution, climate change, water withdrawals, diverting water flows, and providing drinking water to our expanding towns and cities.