Otonabee Conservation is issuing a Level 1 low water condition declaration for the entire watershed area, due to persistent dry conditions throughout the Otonabee Region watershed.
Otonabee onservation analyzes the condition of the watershed on a monthly basis; low water status is determined based on the available data including temperature, precipitation, and stream flow. A level 1 condition is being declared at this time as precipitation receipts for the preceding 3-month period at 4 out 5 monitoring stations recorded less than 80 percent of normal, with 1 location measuring a low of 61 percent of normal for the 3-month period ending August 31st.
“The lack of precipitation during the summer months has caused stream flows to decline,” Explains Gordon Earle, Water Resources Technologist at Otonabee Conservation, “The average flow of Jackson Creek during the month of August was 30% of the historical average flow.”
Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, when a Level 1 low water condition occurs, all water users are asked to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 10 percent. This includes municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farm irrigation, and private users.
To reduce water use by 10%, Otonabee Conservation offers the following water conservation tips:
- Run dishwasher and laundry during off-peak use times (between 7pm and 7am)
- Water gardens wisely or use stored rainwater from a rain barrel
- Adhere to municipal watering restrictions that may apply
- Do not wash driveways or wash automobiles in driveways – use a broom / visit a carwash
The Otonabee Region Water Response Team, with representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, the community, provincial and federal agencies, and Otonabee Conservation, will to meet in the coming days to review the current situation. The Level 1 Low Water Condition, urging water conservation of 10%, will remain in effect until further notice.