The Level 1 Low Water Condition that was downgraded from a Level 2 on September 15, will continue to be in place until at least the end of October, as mild drought conditions persist.
Earlier this year, we experienced low rainfall in May, June, July, and September. This combined with above-normal air temperatures (indicative of increased rates of evaporation and transpiration) in June, July, and August resulted in soil moisture deficits, low surface water levels / flows, and minor water supply concerns. These conditions have yet to dissipate.
One-month rainfall levels for September were below normal at all seven precipitation monitoring stations, with three stations (north Peterborough, Norwood, and Millbrook) reporting rainfall receipts below the Level 1 drought threshold.
Additionally, the monthly average flows measured at three surface water monitoring stations (Jackson Creek, Baxter Creek, and Ouse River) were below their respective historical average flows with two stations (Jackson Creek and Ouse River) recording flows that were below their Level 1 drought thresholds.
“There are three primary factors continuing to drive this year’s drought conditions,” Explains Otonabee Conservation’s Water Resources Technologist, Gordon Earle, “Firstly, we had an earlier than normal Spring freshet. Additionally, May through September was drier than normal overall, and lastly, the air temperatures during the past five months have been largely warmer than normal to sizzling hot.”
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%. This includes municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, and private users.
To reduce water use by 10%, Otonabee Conservation offers a variety of water conservation tips on our Water Conservation Fact Sheet that can be downloaded from our website.
The Otonabee Region Water Response Team, with representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, the community, provincial and federal agencies, and Otonabee Conservation, will continue to review the current situation. The Level 1 Low Water Condition, urging 10% water conservation, will remain in effect until further notice.
More information on the Low Water Response Program is available on the Otonabee Conservation website at otonabeeconservation.com.
For more information contact:
Dan Marinigh | CAO\Secretary-Treasurer
Otonabee Conservation firstname.lastname@example.org | 705-745-3238 x222