The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority has announced that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed is now at Moderate severity.
Rainfall in the last 90 days, measured at climate stations in and around the watershed, is about 60% of the normal amount for the time of year which is the threshold for Moderate Severity Low Water. Rain presently forecast for much of next week will be welcome but is not expected to have a significant impact. Longer range forecasts indicate temperatures above normal and precipitation below normal through the rest of the summer and into the fall.
Although daytime highs greater than 30 degrees appear to be passing, it will still be warm enough for evaporation to continue to reduce water levels on all lakes and streams. Levels and streamflows are below normal for the time of year but are still above critical thresholds. Flows in smaller streams will be raised briefly if the shortrange weather forecasts prove to be accurate.
Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are at levels typical of later into September. However, there have been no reports of insufficient draft on the Rideau Canal system relayed to the Conservation Authority.
Conditions are expected to decline generally. Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.
Water conservation is recommended for everyone within the Rideau River watershed including residents on private wells inside the City of Ottawa boundary. Those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible. Residents on private well systems are also urged to use water conservatively. Using rain barrels to capture any rain to water lawns and gardens. Avoid using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences. All these actions contribute to the conservation of our water resources. Municipalities may have invoked water restrictions so check your municipal website for applicable bylaws.
- Other relevant information sources are:
- Ministry of Environment and Climate Change: https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortage
- Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program.
- RVCA website: (www.rvca.ca)
- Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels