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Low Water Conditions and Drought

Drought occurs slowly as a result of lack of rain, high temperatures and increased water use.

The Ontario Low Water Response Program helps prepare the province and municipalities to respond if a drought occurs. Local municipalities, water management agencies, tourism, recreation, and agriculture sectors, provincial and federal agencies, First Nations, and Otonabee Conservation work together as the local Water Response Team.

Otonabee Conservation uses precipitation and stream flow information to identify low water conditions. The different levels of Low Water Conditions include:

Residents and business are always encouraged to conserve water. Continued wise use of water has environmental and economic benefits.

  Normal conditions indicated in green  


Early indication of a potential drought.
Water users encouraged to reduce water consumption by 10%.

  Level 1 Low Water Status indicated in yellow  


Increased likelihood of drought. Potential for minor water supply issues.
Water users encouraged to reduce their water consumption by 20%.

  Level 2 Low Water Status indicated in orange  


High likelihood of drought conditions but does not imply an emergency.
Increased potential that water supply does not meet water demand.
Water users encouraged to reduce their water consumption by 30%.

  Level 3 Low Water Status indicated in red  


Information is available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs about the impacts of low water on agricultural activities.

Information from the province is available about water shortages for private wells.

How to reduce the amount of water you use

Contact Us

250 Milroy Drive
Peterborough, ON K9H 7M9
Voice: 705-745-5791
Fax: 705-745-7488

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