Low Water Conditions and Drought

Weather is the principal factor causing low water conditions and drought. The three main climate variables are solar radiation, temperature, and precipitation. These low water causing weather phenomenon combine with local biological, physical and human characteristics to define the low water conditions within the Otonabee Region watershed.

As part of the Ontario Low Water Response Program, Otonabee Conservation works collaboratively with representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, tourism, cottage and agriculture sectors, provincial and federal agencies, and First Nations as the Otonabee Region Water Response Team.

Watershed conditions are analyzed on a monthly basis. There are three levels of low water conditions (Levels One, Two and Three) that are based on thresholds linked to precipitation records and stream flow monitoring data, together with watershed observations.

Subsequent to detecting a low water condition occurrence, the Otonabee Region Water Response Team will make a determination about low water conditions and set in motion a public education and communication program to alert the community and encourage water conservation.


Water levels are normal.

Level 1

Level One provides the first indication of potential water supply problems and the community is advised to conserve water by 10% (voluntary).

Level 2

Level Two indicates a more serious problem at which time the community is strongly encouraged to reduce water consumption by a further 10% (20% in total).

Level 3

Level Three is the most serious stage and means that water supply is unable to meet local demands.

There are several ways to conserve water every day. For more information, please refer to the water conservation fact sheet.