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Low Water Response

Current Low Water Status:

Watershed conditions have returned to normal

December 8, 2016

At the end of November, the waterhsed had received enough precipitation to bring the moving 3-month average to over 80% of normal. All three lakes in North Glengarry (Loch Garry, Middle Lake and Mill Pond) are currently within their normal operating levels. Flows in the Raisin River as well as local tributaries are in the normal range for this time of year. We have not received any new notifications of dry or stressed wells in our area. At this time, there is sufficient evidence to return the low water condition status to "Normal".


Watershed conditions have improved

November 10, 2016

The local watershed area has received enough rain over the past few months to increase the moving average to over 80% of normal for 3 of 4 gauges in the area. Two of three lakes in North Glengarry are now back into the normal operating range, and the larger lake, Loch Garry is trending back towards it's normal water level. Flows in the Raisin River are also currently in the normal range for this time of year. Based on this information, the local watershed response team has decided to move to the less severe Level 1 low water condition.

This condition suggests voluntary water conservation measures of 10%. The RRCA is still encouraging anyone who has had trouble with their own private drinking water well to complete our short online survey here.

We are expecting that the watershed will return to normal conditions next month.


 

 

Recent precipitation is helping watershed conditions

August 17, 2016

The last week has seen significant precipitation throughout the watershed. Our gauging station near Loch Garry in North Glengarry recorded 107.2mm of rain between August 9 and this morning. This is consistent with high precipitation amounts recorded by Environment Canada stations in Cornwall and nearby St-Anicet (Quebec).

The rain is a welcome relief to the watershed which was in a confirmed low level 2 drought condition as determined by the Ontario Low Water Response (OLWR) program.

At the end of July key precipitation gauges in the watershed had recorded 142mm less than expected precipitation for the previous 3 month period – only 43% of the norm. 

The absence of significant precipitation had resulted in near record low lake levels in Loch Garry and Middle Lake; as well as extremely low flows in the Raisin River and virtually no flow in other major creeks, streams and tributaries. The recent precipitation has raised water levels in Loch Garry by 120mm, and Middle Lake by 144mm. The Raisin River has seen an increase in water level of 72mm, with the expectation being that it will continue to rise over the next day through continued runoff and groundwater flow.

The OLWR indicators will be reviewed again at the end of the month by the local watershed response team and any changes to the low water response level will be made at that time. The RRCA is still encouraging water conservation with a target of 20% reduction in water use. 

 


Level 2 Low Water Condition Continues

August 8, 2016

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is advising that the Level 2 Low Water Condition continues for the local area.

The 3-month precipitation indicator, which compares the actual amount of rain received over the last 3 months with the historic average for the same period indicates we have received between 43 and 63% of the normally expected rain at the Cornwall, St-Anicet and Loch Garry rain gauges.  In addition, the weekly precipitation trends include several consecutive weeks with minimal accumulated rain. The average daily stream flow in the Raisin River was 0.15 cubic meters per second which is only 21% of the average low summer flow of 0.68 cubic meters per second. 

The northern portions of the watershed appear to be more affected by the drought. Water levels in Loch Garry and Middle Lake in North Glengarry have been declining steadily over the summer and are approaching record lows.

The RRCA is encouraging water conservation and restrictions for non-essential use, with a target of 20% reduction.

The RRCA is collecting information on dry wells in the area for data analysis purposes. Residents with a dry well can assist by filling out an online form at www.rrca.on.ca/drought.

The RRCA will continue to monitor the watershed conditions and will provide updates as required.

About the Ontario Low Water Response Program
Ontario’s Low Water Response Program ensures provincial and local authorities are prepared in the event of low water conditions.

There are three levels of low water conditions:

  1. the first indication of a potential water supply problem, managed through water conservation
  2. a potentially serious problem, managed through water conservation and restrictions on non-essential water use
  3.  water supply fails to meet demand, managed through water conservation, restrictions and regulation of water use.

About the Raisin Region Conservation Authority
The Raisin Region Conservation Authority has been working effectively with our community partners for over fifty years to protect and enhance our local environment. It carries out this role through programs and services related to water and land management, conservation, recreation and plan input/review and community education. For more information, visitwww.rrca.on.ca.


 

 

Level 2 Low Water Condition Declared

July 26, 2016

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) is confirming a level 2 low water condition for the local area. A water response team (WRT), created under the Ontario Low Water Response program met yesterday to discuss the situation. The WRT has representation from local municipalities, the provincial government, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, and the region’s Source Water Protection committee.

Precipitation measurements from stations across the region are indicating that less than 60% of the normal amount of precipitation has fallen over the past 3 months. Additionally, flows in the Raisin River are only 25% of what would normally be expected during the summer months.

At this time, the WRT is encouraging water conservation and restrictions for non-essential use, with a target of 20% reduction in water.

Water levels in the St. Lawrence River through our area have not been adversely impacted. Water supply systems for the City of Cornwall, the Village of Glen Walter and Town of Lancaster are not directly affected by this drought.

The current condition may lead to some private wells showing signs of stress or drying up. The RRCA is collecting information on dry wells in the area for data analysis purposes. Residents with a dry well can assist by filling out an online form at www.rrca.on.ca/drought.
The RRCA will continue to monitor the watershed conditions and will provide updates as required.

About the Ontario Low Water Response Program
Ontario’s Low Water Response Program ensures provincial and local authorities are prepared in the event of low water conditions.

There are three levels of low water conditions:

  1. the first indication of a potential water supply problem, managed through water conservation
  2. a potentially serious problem, managed through water conservation and restrictions on non-essential water use
  3.  water supply fails to meet demand, managed through water conservation, restrictions and regulation of water use.

About the Raisin Region Conservation Authority
The Raisin Region Conservation Authority has been working effectively with our community partners for over fifty years to protect and enhance our local environment. It carries out this role through programs and services related to water and land management, conservation, recreation and plan input/review and community education. For more information, visit www.rrca.on.ca.


 


Level 1 Low Water Condition - Continuing to monitor the situation

Update: July 6, 2016

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority is conitinuing to monitor the Level 1 low water condition throughout the area. The three month cumulative precipitation amount as of the end of June was 63 and 70% of normal. This was bolstered by a significant precipitation event in early June; however, we have not seen much significant precipitation since then, and water levels in lakes and rivers is lower than normal for this time of year. 

The RRCA is continuing to encourage water conservation measures.

 


 

Level 1 Low Water Condition - Continuing to monitor the situation

Update: June 7, 2016

The Raisin Region Conservation Authority is keeping a close eye on recent precipitation events. Since confirming the Level 1 Low Water Condition on June 1, 2016  - the region has received 20 to 50 mm of rain at various locations. This precipitation has boosted the three month average above the 80% threshold (for Level 1 Low Water) at some stations. This is a good indication that the level 1 low water condition may not be long lived.

 

Level 1 Low Water Condition confirmed for RRCA watershed

June 1, 2016

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 (available at here).

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For more information, please contact Phil Barnes, Water Resources Engineer at the Raisin Region Conservation Authority. 613-938-3611 x 240. Updates on watershed conditions can be accessed via our website, http://www.rrca.on.ca.

The watershed based area of the Raisin Region Conservation Authority includes South Stormont (south of Newington), the City of Cornwall, all of South Glengarry, most of North Glengarry (east of Maxville), and a portion of North Stormont (south of Gravel Hill).

 A map of our watershed is available here.

 

 

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Raisin Region Conservation Authority
18045 County Road #2, P.O. Box 429, Cornwall, ON, K6H 5T2
Tel. 613-938-3611   Fax. 613-938-3221