Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety

Otonabee Conservation advises that a WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY  is now in effect for the entire watershed region. A Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety is issued when conditions, such as high flows and unsafe banks, pose a serious safety risk.


A series of low pressure systems moving along a warm front is bringing multi-day warm air temperatures and rain to the watershed region. Yesterday (Monday, February 19th), the watershed region experienced several rounds of rain with total accumulations of about 10 to 15 millimeters. Rain will continue today and tonight giving additional rainfall amounts of 20 to 25 millimeters before this multi-day event ends with the return of colder weather on Wednesday.  With mild air temperatures accompanying the rain, the combination of rainfall and snowmelt will result in total run-off for this multi-day event that is in the range of 50 mm.


Owing to frozen ground conditions, the rainfall and snowmelt is almost entirely converted to run-off. While this will cause local lake, river, stream and creek volumes to increase, this multi-day, wet, mild event is not expected to cause local waterbodies / watercourses to exceed their normal confines. Localized accumulations and ponding are, however, occurring in low-lying areas where drainage is poor. In addition, normal water conveyance structures, such as culverts, may be frozen causing inundation of adjacent roads and sidewalks. Furthermore, ice cover on area lakes and rivers should be considered unsafe.

As a result of the rain and mild air temperatures, conditions on and around waterbodies / watercourses, water conveyance structure and areas where water ponding has occurred can be extremely dangerous. With this message, therefore, the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority is advising area residents to keep away from all waterbodies / watercourses, as well as dams, culverts, bridges and other water conveyance structures, and to also observe extreme caution anywhere water can be seen to be accumulating and ponding.

This WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY message will next be in effect until THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2018.

If you experience a flood emergency, please dial 911 to alert your local municipality.