Low Water Response

Status: Level 1

RRCA Declares Low Water Level 1 Status

Friday, July 3, 2020 (12:00 AM)

Status: Level 1

Following a dry, hot spring, the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) has declared a Low Water Level 1 status for its jurisdiction and asks residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption.

The RRCA monitors stream flows and precipitation data at gauges strategically placed throughout its jurisdiction consisting of the City of Cornwall, and Townships of South Glengarry, North Glengarry, South Stormont, and North Stormont.  A low water status is declared once monthly stream flows and/or precipitation are below an expected amount.

Data records indicate local precipitation for the past 3 months is less than 80% of normal, which triggered the declaration of a Level 1 status.  A Level 1 is the early detection of a potential drought if the current weather trends continue.  Residents and businesses are asked to reduce their water consumption by 10 % by limiting non-essential uses (e.g. lawn watering, car washing, etc.).  Residents are also encouraged to consult with their municipalities regarding any water conservation bylaws in effect. 

In the RRCA’s jurisdiction, half of the population relies on groundwater for their drinking water supply (i.e. a well); low precipitation can impact groundwater recharge. To gauge the local impacts of low water, residents and businesses are encouraged to fill out the RRCA’s feedback form at www.rrca.on.ca/drought if they are experiencing unusual low water-related problems, such as dry wells.

The RRCA will continue to monitor stream flows and precipitation as part of the Ontario Low Water Response Program and will provide updates as conditions change.  The RRCA’s Water Response Team, consisting of representatives from municipal and provincial government, the agriculture community, and various other stakeholders, will meet to review the conditions.   If required, the Team may declare a Level 2 status which indicates an increased likelihood of a drought.  A Level 3 status indicates a high likelihood of a drought.

For more information contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.

How is the drought affecting you?

Water Conservation Tips

•    Repair any leaks in your home (e.g. taps and toilets)
•    Reduce non-essential water usage such as lawn watering or car washing
•    Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes
•    Install a low consumption showerhead
•    For farmers: monitor your irrigation systems for leaks, and consider irrigating closer to the evening to reduce evaporation loss


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

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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