ORCA Advises Level 2 Low Water

Water levels along Baxter Creek

Water levels along Baxter Creek

Rainfall continues to be in short supply across the Otonabee Region watershed, even after the slight downpours last weekend. As a result, the Otonabee Region Water Response Team has confirmed that Level 2 Low Water Conditions are being experienced throughout the watershed region.

Analysis of the data, including air temperature, precipitation, and stream flow for the first 6 months of 2016, indicate that every month except March experienced below normal precipitation receipts.

Under a Level 2 Low Water Condition, residents, businesses, industries and municipalities are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20%.

Otonabee Conservation encourages everyone apply water conservation measures in their daily routine. Non-essential water uses should be suspended until natural water supplies recover. Those who hold a Permit to Take Water from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change are asked to reduce their water taking by 20% as well.

The situation is not quite as dire in the Ganaraska, where the conservation authority confirmed a level 1 low water condition for its watersheds. High water retention in the largely forested headwaters of their systems have offered some protection, however, since April the precipitation volumes have been very low, with weather stations operated by the GRCA recording an average of 45% of the normally expected precipitation. More consistent rainfall is needed as the summer progresses to prevent water supply shortages in streams and groundwater. KG

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