CRCA Declares Level I Low Water Condition
Due to a significantly lower amount of rainfall in the region a Level I Drought Condition has been declared for the area extending from Napanee to Brockville and north to Newboro.
“Although we experienced a wetter than normal late winter and early spring, since May there has been below average rainfall, and some streams are only flowing at about 25 per cent of average flow rate for this time of year,” explained CRCA Watershed Planning Coordinator, Holly Evans.
Besides lack of rainfall, the high temperatures and windy weather are increasing evaporation rates on area lakes and streams.
A Level I drought condition is the first of three levels and reflects a potential water supply problem if current precipitation and stream flows trends persist. Level II ‘Moderate’ suggests a potentially serious problem where a Level III ‘Severe’ indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand.
Low water conditions are based upon precipitation and stream flow indicators and low water declarations are determined by the Cataraqui Region Water Response Team convened by the CRCA as part of the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
Residents are asked to conserve water by limiting outside watering of plants and lawns, washing vehicles, driveways, and sidewalks. As well, the CRCA recommends conducting repairs on leaky plumbing or fixtures to help curtail water wastage. Note that lawns naturally become dormant during times of low water and will recover quickly. Lawns that have turned brown from the drought are not “dead”, the grass has just gone dormant from lack of water. When rainfall returns, the grass will come out of dormancy and perk back up.
If water well supplies become low or dry, well owners are encouraged to refer to this Ontario Government website, "Managing your well in times of drought" and are advised to not illegally fill the well with water.
Municipalities may invoke water use bylaws and residents should find out what bylaws are in effect in their municipalities regarding water use as well as outdoor fires.
To help CRCA staff track the spread and seriousness of low water impacts on the region, we are asking for help from the public in collecting this information. If Cataraqui Region residents have a low water concern, please let the CRCA know by filling in this online form on their website.
The CRCA will continue to monitor conditions, and will provide updates as conditions change.