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.
Residents and businesses are always encouraged to conserve water. Water is a precious resource; continued wise use of water has environmental and economic benefits.


The potential for water supply problems is identified.
Water users are asked to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 10%.


Minor water supply issues are encountered; there is the potential for major supply problems.
Water users are asked to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20%, or greater.


Supply no longer meets demand; social and economic impacts are experienced.
Voluntary measures have not produced the necessary response. Restrictions
proposed by the Water Response Team and that have been approved by the
Government of Ontario will be put into action.

There are several ways to conserve water every day.

Click here for tips for conserving water around your home…