With precipitation below normal over the past three months, Level 1 Low Water (minor drought) conditions are now being experienced across the Lower Trent Conservation watershed region, an area stretching from Grafton to Quinte West, and from Lake Ontario to Rice Lake to south of Madoc.
As part of the declaration of a Level 1 Low Water Condition, local municipalities, residents and businesses are expected to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 10 percent. Residents can help conserve water by using rain barrels to capture rain for watering lawns and gardens, limiting vehicle washing, etc. Lower Trent Conservation staff urge rural residents to be wary of their water use. Water is a precious resource – continued wise use of water is encouraged now and always.
The August to October 3-month rainfall totals recorded by Environment Canada at Trenton was 132 millimetres, which is 54 percent of normal precipitation for this time of year (246 mm). A 3-month precipitation below 80 percent is the trigger for Level 1 Low Water. Monthly streamflows in our local creeks are varied as localized rainfall has led to of typical flows for the month of October with the exception of Trout Creek, Hoards (Squires) Creek and Rawdon Creek which dropped below the Lowest Summer Month Average flows, which is another trigger for Level 1 Low Water.
Droughts can cause many severe impacts on the environment and communities including:
- Water shortages for human consumption, industrial, business and agriculture use
- Decline of water quality
- Increase in wildfires
- Increases in insect infestations and plant disease
Following lower than average precipitation and low water levels in 1998, the Ontario government developed the Ontario Low Water Response program to ensure the province was prepared for future low water conditions. The response plan was developed to help coordinate and support local response in the event of a drought. There are three levels of Low Water Conditions with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 3 being the most severe.
Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and report new information as it becomes available. To learn more about Ontario’s Low Water Response program visit our website at www.LTC.on.ca. Residents can report any low water observations using the Low Water Reporting Form on our website.
For more information, contact:
Manager, Watershed Management, Planning & Regulations
(613) 394-3915 ext. 224 | [email protected]
(613) 394-3915 ext. 216 | [email protected]