Due to persistent high temperatures, precipitation deficits and poor streamflow, the Otonabee Region Water Response Team is calling on members of the community to continue their water conservation efforts by reducing their water use by 10 per cent.
“Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, the Team is continuing the Level 1 low water status for the Otonabee Region watershed based on several factors,” explains Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation.
Marinigh cites the following watershed conditions:
- In May, June and July, the flow rate of Jackson Creek (urban Peterborough) was 86%, 46% and 33% respectively of normal
- Rural watersheds, owing to their greater vegetative and wetland cover, are typically more resilient to prolonged hot and dry conditions; nonetheless, they too are now flowing at below normal rates as evidenced by the Ouse River (rural Asphodel-Norwood) which in July was 56% of the historical average
- Precipitation receipts in May, June and July were persistently below normal
- Above-normal air temperatures have been experienced in May, June and July; 12 days have experienced day time temperatures of 30oC or greater
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 early September 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, tourism and agriculture, provincial and federal agencies, First Nations and Otonabee Conservation. Watershed conditions are analyzed on a monthly basis and a determination is made based on the available data over the preceding 3-month period.