Water Safety Statement | March 18, 2021


Message #2021-03
Issued: 9:00 a.m., Thursday March 18, 2021

SUBJECT: Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety issued for all watercourses / waterbodies in the Region of Otonabee Conservation. 

ISSUED TO: Municipalities of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Cavan Monaghan, City of Kawartha Lakes, City of Peterborough and Trent Hills, and Otonabee Conservation’s other partners in flood emergency management.

A Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is issued when high flows, ice or other factors could be dangerous, but flooding is not expected.

CURRENT WATERSHED CONDITIONS and RISK – Currently area lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks are not in “flood”, but they are at levels/flows that are considered “high water”.  Fast current, strong hydraulics, and a full riverbed/lake bottom are some of the characteristics that represent high water. In addition, at this time of year, there will be icy and slippery riverbanks and lakeshores, cold water, and thin/weak ice. 

With the Spring season comes warm air temperatures, bright sunshine and increased enthusiasm and excitement for outdoor recreational activities such as walking along riverside/lakeshore trails, fishing, and paddling. However, it is important to make safety your first concern when on or near water.

Residents are reminded that water is a very powerful force and should NEVER be underestimated. Caregivers are reminded that children are ESPECIALLY vulnerable and should not be allowed to approach moving water. As well, water temperatures are extremely cold, adding another hazard to water at this time of year. After as little as five minutes, cold water begins to rob your body of your ability to move your limbs.  Also, ice cover, where it exists, is extremely hazardous – stay off frozen water bodies. Be careful near riverbanks/lakeshores as they will be icy and slippery. As well, the banks can form a dangerous, “ledge” of unstable ice.

Always stay clear of water control/water conveyance structures (e.g., dams and culverts) when enjoying the outdoors, including when walking, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking.   Regardless of their size, type or intended use, all water control/conveyance structures present certain hazards, including hazardous water zones. Pay attention to signs, booms, buoys and fencing.

Area water information can be monitored on-line at:

  1. Trent-Severn Waterway’s Water Management InfoNet
  2. Water Survey of Canada Real-Time Hydrometric Data 
  3. Otonabee Conservation Precipitation and Water Level Data

This WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT will remain in effect until Thursday, April 01, 2021.

Gordon Earle| Flood Forecasting & Warning Duty Officer | 705-745-5791 x 214
250 Milroy Drive, Peterborough, ON K9H 7M9
orcafloodduty@otonabeeconservation.com | Flood Watch Hotline 705-745-5791 x 228