Low Water Response

Status: Level 1

Low Water Condition confirmed for RRCA watershed

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 (9:00 AM)

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is confirming the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Level 1 Low Water Condition for our watershed based area.

A Level 1 condition is the first indication of potential water supply problem. Level 2 indicates a potentially serious problem. Level 3 indicates a failure of the water supply to meet the demand.

A Level 1 condition can be declared if 3-month precipitation total falls below 80% of average. As of May 31, the three-month total was between 58% and 77% at stations throughout the area.

Low precipitation in the summer months can impair groundwater recharge. In the RRCA watershed half of the population relies on a groundwater source (i.e. a well) for their water. A local Water Response Team will convene to discuss water quantity and water quality issues related to the Level 1 drought condition. At this time, it is suggested that residents and businesses in the watershed voluntarily reduce water consumption by 10%. The RRCA recommends the “Conservation Tips” outlined in the Source Water Protection pamphlet: Water Smart.

 

About Low Water Response and the RRCA

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) manages water use during a drought. Ontario’s Low Water Response Program ensures provincial and local authorities are prepared in the event of low water conditions. The Raisin Region Conservation Authority assists the ministry by assessing local watershed conditions and notifying residents.

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority monitors precipitation and water levels throughout Cornwall; South Glengarry; and large portions of North Glengarry and South Stormont.

About Low Water Notices

Normal
Flows are in the normal range and precipitation accumulation has been close to average. 

Level 1
Flows are less than 70 percent of their normal summer low flow and/or precipitation has been less than 80 per cent of average. Water users are asked to voluntarily reduce consumption by 10 per cent.

Level 2
Flows are less than 50 percent of their normal summer low flow and/or precipitation has been less than 60 per cent of average. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change will send letters to holders of Permits to Take Water to ask them to voluntarily reduce their consumption by 20 per cent.

Level 3
Flows are less than 30 percent of their normal summer low flow and/or precipitation has been less than 40 per cent of average. There is also potential for economic harm to water takers and/or significant harm to the ecosystem. The Water Response Team may ask the province to impose mandatory restrictions on those holding Permits to Take Water.

In the event of a low water status of anything other than normal, the RRCA will issue a media release and advise our member municipalities. A local Water Response Team will be convened to inform the MNRF and the public.

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