RRCA Declares Low Water Level 1 Status

June 4, 2021

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 in Eastern Ontario 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.

Total precipitation for the area for the past 3 months was 135 mm, significantly less than the 230 mm normally received from March to May.  When precipitation over a 3-month period is less than 80% of normal, a Low Water Level 1 Status is triggered.  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.

Provincial weather forecasts from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry are indicating less than normal precipitation and normal temperatures for June and July. Low water conditions may persist through the summer and into the early fall.

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 and for water conservation tips, visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.