Due to persistent dry conditions throughout the Otonabee Region watershed, Otonabee Conservation has issued a Level 1 low water condition for the entire watershed area.
Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, Level 1 results in a request for a voluntary 10 per cent reduction in water consumption by all water users, including municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farms for irrigation, as well as private users.
Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation, explains why the Level 1 condition is being issued. “Precipitation receipts for the preceding 3-month period [May-June- July] are less than 80% of normal. This lack of precipitation has caused stream flows to decline as well. Jackson Creek for example is currently at 33% of normal flow. Streams and creeks in the rural areas, which are typically more resilient to prolonged hot and dry conditions due to the greater forest and wetland coverage, are also showing declines.”
Marinigh stresses that “water is a shared resource and we all have a part to play in water conservation.” Otonabee Conservation suggests that water conservation become part of a person’s daily routine and offers the following water conservation tips:
- Reduce by watering wisely and adhere to municipal watering restrictions that may apply
- Repair leaks in the bathroom or kitchen promptly
- Retrofit fixtures to more water-efficient standards
Marinigh says that the Otonabee Region Water Response Team is scheduled to meet in the coming days and will review the current situation. The Level 1 Low Water Condition, urging water conservation of 10%, will remain in effect until further notice.
The Otonabee Region Water Response Team is made up of representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, water users, several community, provincial and federal agencies and Otonabee Conservation. Watershed conditions are analyzed on a monthly basis and a determination is made based on the available data.