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Problem Statement and Rationale

2.1 Study Purpose

The purpose of the Upper Strasburg Creek Class Environmental Assessment (EA) is to resolve floodplain and major flow control issues under existing conditions, upstream of Fischer-Hallman Road by determining which modifications may be required to the Strasburg Creek Culvert at Fischer-Hallman Road. Modifications to the culvert may be required to reduce the regional storm flood elevation to a maximum of 335 m. The GRCA determination of this level of required flood control is attached in Appendix B. The alternatives selected to resolve the floodplain and flow control issues are also required to maintain the regional peak flow in Strasburg Creek at Fischer-Hallman Road below the current allowable peak flow of 12.7 m 3 /s, to protect the sensitive downstream environment.

This study is important for the following reasons:

The area is an important groundwater recharge area for the Regional water supply wells and the Mannheim ASR system. Approximately 25 percent of the water supply for the Integrated Urban System water supply capacity for Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo comes from the Mannheim East, West, and Peaking well fields.

A restricted culvert underneath Fischer-Hallman Road poses a potential flood risk to lands upstream of the Fischer-Hallman culvert to an elevation of 335 m.

Strasburg Creek, downstream of Fischer-Hallman Road, is a sensitive coldwater stream.

It is anticipated that urban development (including residential development) will occur in the Upper Strasburg watershed within the new City of Kitchener urban boundary.

2.2 Study Objectives

The Upper Strasburg Creek Class EA objectives are to address the flooding concerns, which are a result of the existing configuration of the Fischer-Hallman culvert, under existing site conditions.

The following is the specific objective for the culvert:

Resolve existing floodplain and major flow control issues for the study area upstream of Fischer-Hallman Road, considering various options for a culvert upgrade at Fischer- Hallman Road.

2.3 Study Approach

The detailed steps completed for this Class EA were, as follows:

Phase 1

Identify the problem

Notify the public and government agencies of study commencement


Phase 2

Identify alternative solutions to the problem

Describe environmental conditions in the study area

Evaluate alternative solutions

Develop a preferred solution

Seek public and agency input concerning the assessment and recommended solution

Revise and finalize the preferred solution

Documentation and filing

Prepare a Schedule B Class EA report, which documents the study process, findings, preferred solution, and consultation efforts

Notify the public and government review agencies of completion of the project and make report accessible for review period.

2.4 Study Area Delineation

The general study area for this project includes the lands within the Upper Strasburg Creek Watershed, as Figure 2-1 shows. Strasburg Creek is located in the southwest part of the City of Kitchener. The entire drainage basin covers an area of approximately 14 km 2 and eventually discharges to Schneider Creek, 2 km upstream from the Grand River.

That section of the Upper Strasburg Creek, which is the specific focus of this Class EA, is the portion of the watershed above Fischer-Hallman Road immediately adjacent to the Alder Creek watershed. Figure 2-2 shows the relationship of the Strasburg Creek watershed to the Alder watershed. This portion of the Upper Strasburg Creek watershed is located in the Waterloo Moraine and contains a significant amount of depression storage due to its hummocky terrain.

2.5 Linkage to the Alder Creek Watershed Study

The Alder Creek Watershed Study and Upper Strasburg Subwatershed Plan Update, and the Upper Strasburg Creek Class EA, have been initiated to develop an understanding of issues related to sustainable development and the balancing of interests in regard to resource use. The two watershed areas are adjacent to one another and have recognized interrelationships between groundwater systems and surface water systems. As a result, the two studies have been carried out together. Given that these studies recognize the interrelationship between the combined watersheds of Alder Creek and Upper Strasburg Creek, the approach for watershed management and planning presented in the reports provides added value by linking the needs of both watersheds, especially in light of the interrelationship of the groundwater systems in the upper most part of the two watersheds.

The following interests are a priority to each study proponent:

Region of Waterloo – Protecting groundwater and recharge areas

City of Kitchener

– Carefully managing urbanization

Preserving natural heritage resources

GRCA – Managing flood risk and preserving natural heritage resources

UPPER STRASBURG CREEK EA Figure 2-1 Upper Strasburg Creek Subwatershed Boundary and Study Area
Figure 2-1
Upper Strasburg Creek
Subwatershed Boundary and Study Area


UPPER STRASBURG CREEK EA Figure 2-2 Alder Creek and Upper Strasburg Creek Subwatershed Boundaries
Figure 2-2
Alder Creek and Upper
Strasburg Creek Subwatershed Boundaries



To incorporate these interests and provide value, the watershed planning exercise has resulted in a plan that:

Addresses the need to understand the areas of priority management.

Supports the need to incorporate Official Plan requirements and the development of land use guidelines that will support the water supply.

Supports and incorporates the water needs of natural heritage resources.

Addresses the issues associated with encroachment in the floodplain zones.

The combined studies consisted of numerous components that were carried out to complete the various elements of the Alder Creek Watershed Study and Upper Strasburg Subwatershed Plan Update, and the Upper Strasburg Creek Class Environmental Assessment. Figure 2-3 shows these components.


Major Task 1 Major Task 2 Major Task 3 Major Task 4 Alder Alder Management
Major Task 1
Major Task 2
Major Task 3
Major Task 4
Alder Alder Management Creek Creek Watershed Watershed Plan
Management Plan
Natural Natural Heritage Heritage Study Study
CreekSubwatershed Alder CreekSubwatershedManagement Alder Creek Creek and and Upper UpperStrasburg Management Strasburg
Public Public Consultation Consultation
Strategy and Class EA
Strategy and Class EA
Phase I
Phase I
Surface Management Surface Water Water
Groundwater Groundwater
Protection Protection Plan Plan
Alder Alder Creek Creek
Natural Natural Study Heritage Heritage
Upper UpperStrasburg Creek Strasburg Natural
Creek Natural
Review and
Review and
Strasburg Water StrasburgCreek Balance Creek
Water Balance
Open House
#1 #1
Heritage Heritage Study Study
Needs Statement
Strasburg StrasburgCreek Creek
Flow Flow Sensitivity Sensitivity
Wetlands Wetlands
Mapping Mapping
Evaluation Evaluation
Phase II
Evaluation Phase II of
Open House
Open House
Evaluation of
SWM SWM Alternatives Alternatives
Class Class EA EA
Alder Alder Creek Creek
Management Management Plan Plan
Workshop Workshop
Recommended Recommended
SWM SWM Strategy Strategy
Open Open #2 House House
Alder Alder Creek Creek and and Upper Upper
Strasburg StrasburgCreek Creek
Management Plan
Management Plan