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The Otonabee Region Water Response Team (WRT) has lifted the Level 1 Low Water condition that was first declared on June 9, 2021, following the fourth driest May since Confederation.
The drought was declared early in June after the watershed experienced below-normal snowfall, an earlier-than-usual spring freshet, stream flows that averaged below historical averages, precipitation receipts that were below normal, and average daily air temperatures that were warmer than our 30-year normal. The seasonal drought continued through June as persistent dry conditions continued and mean monthly stream flows continued to deteriorate.
However, during July, rainfall was recorded on 16 of 31 days of the month. Rainfall receipts ranged from 135% to 204% of normal among the Region’s seven precipitation monitoring stations; three-month rainfall totals were between 80% and 123% of normal, which means all stations reported 1-month and 3-month rainfall receipts above the Level 1 drought threshold.
Mean monthly stream flows also improved in July. Jackson Creek’s mean monthly stream flow was 225% of it’s historical average, while Baxter Creek was 111%, and the Ouse River was 124%. Average monthly air temperatures were also normal in July and there were no days when the maximum temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius or higher.
At a meeting on August 9, the WRT ended the Level 1 Low Water Condition, as drought concerns have been alleviated due to improved water levels and flows resulting from abundant and frequent rainfall in July. There is very little likelihood that future numbers will renew water supply concerns in 2021.
Members of the Otonabee Region WRT still urge all area residents and businesses to continue to wise use of our water resources. For ways to conserve water, view our Fact Sheet, Water Conservation In and Around Your Home.
The Otonabee Region WRT includes representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, tourism and agriculture, provincial and federal agencies, First Nations and Otonabee Conservation. Click here for more information about the Low Water Response Program.
For more information contact:
Dan Marinigh | Chief Administrative Officer, Otonabee Conservation
email@example.com | 705-745-5791, ext. 222