Current Watershed Conditions
Water Statement
Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA)
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Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Area

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Area includes the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Township of Prince and Sault North Planning Board. Water flows across administrative boundaries, so the best approach for planning for the protection of those sources is on a watershed basis.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region is one watershed, comprised of 17 sub-watersheds with a land area of 775 square kilometres.

What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater. Homes, farms, cottages, forests, small towns, big cities and more can make up watersheds. Some cross municipal, provincial and even international borders. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes and can vary from millions of acres, like the land that drains into the Great Lakes, to a few acres that drain into a pond. Click here to see where your Conservation Authority fits into the large Great Lakes Basin watershed.


The City of Sault Ste. Marie depends on surface water from Lake Superior above the St. Marys River and groundwater from six wells within the watershed for its sources of municipal drinking water.

The landforms and physical features of our watershed play a vital role in the movement of ground and surface water within the West, Central and East Basins.

Watercourses in the Precambrian uplands predominantly drain south toward the St. Marys River. Along the western edge of the uplands, the watercourses drain westward toward Lake Superior. The majority of the sub-watersheds drain southward, drawing flow off from the upland and the lowland areas. 

Want to learn more about watersheds? Find out about key concepts like how water moves in a watershed, what we do upstream impacts the watershed downstream, and the benefits of a healthy watershed at Watersheds 101.



This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario.
Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.