Despite above normal rainfall for the month of August, the Level 1 low water condition persists throughout the Otonabee Region watershed.
“The Otonabee Region Water Response Team determined that the Level 1 low water condition will remain in effect for the Otonabee Region watershed until further notice,” explains Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation.
At their meeting on September 7, 2018, the Team considered the following factors:
- Above-normal air temperatures were experienced in June, July and August; there were 6 days in August when the daytime temperature reached or exceeded 300C and there have been 20 such days in 2018 thus far;
- Precipitation receipts in May, June and July were below normal; the rainfall received in August was well above normal; however, of the rainfall received during August, 60% of the month’s total was received in 2 rainfall events;
- When the majority of rainfall receipts occur in short-lived, intense bursts, much of what falls quickly runs-off the land and out of the watershed, thereby doing little to replenish groundwater and surface water supplies;
- In June and July, the flow rate of Jackson Creek (urban Peterborough) was 47% and 33% respectively of normal; in August, the flow rate was 47% of the historical average; and,
- Rural watersheds continue to show reduced flows; the Ouse River (rural Asphodel-Norwood) was 56% in July and 57% of the historical average in August.
Marinigh stresses that “water is a shared resource and we all have a part to play in water conservation.” The following water conservation actions can reduce local water usage:
- Water wisely and adhere to municipal watering restrictions;
- Repair leaks in the bathroom or kitchen promptly; and,
- Install water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
“While precipitation receipts have rebounded, persistent hot weather and below normal streamflows indicate that maintaining the Level 1 Low Water Condition is appropriate at this time” said Dan Marinigh. Marinigh also indicated that the Otonabee Region Water Response Team is scheduled to meet again in October, and as the Level 1 Low Water Condition will remain in effect until further notice watershed residents are urged to continue water conservation efforts.
The Otonabee Region Water Response Team includes 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.