Level II Low Water Conditions Confirmed

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Watershed Conditions Statement:

July 13, 2012 – This statement is being issued pursuant to this morning’s meeting of the Rideau Valley Water Response Team (RVWRT) and is to confirm that the Rideau River watershed is now experiencing Level II Low Water Conditions. This replaces the previous declaration of Level I conditions of April 5 and updated on May 7.

Under a Level II Low Water Condition, watershed residents, businesses and industries throughout the Rideau Valley are asked to reduce their water use by 20%. The RVCA encourages everybody to continue to use water wisely and apply water conservation measures. Non-essential water uses should be suspended until natural water supplies have recovered. Those who hold a Permit To Take Water from the Ministry of Environment will be asked to reduce their taking by 20% as well.

The Level II Low Water Condition is based on the last 30 day total precipitation (recorded at five weather monitoring stations in and around the watershed) being less than the threshold of 60% of normal precipitation for this time of year.

Streamflows throughout the Rideau watershed are well below average for early July. The Rideau River in Ottawa and the Jock River at Moodie Drive are now flowing at 22% and at 3% of normal, respectively. While higher order streams have some flow, many smaller streams have been reduced to shallow pools between dry riffle sections, and these pools are the only remaining refuge available for fish and other aquatic species.

Despite the lack of precipitation, navigation on the Rideau Canal has not been affected to date, as water is drawn off the upstream reservoirs to support downstream needs. Should the warm and dry conditions persist through August, however, conservation measures and limits to navigation may need to be applied. Boaters need to be cautious on lakes other than the reservoir lakes that do not have control structures that keep the water level elevated.

Residents throughout the watershed should make themselves aware of any bans or bylaws in place in their municipalities regarding fires or water use. In particular, residents’ questions about water use within the serviced areas of the City of Ottawa, should be directed to the City information service. In this regard, it is important to know that the City of Ottawa’s water purification plants at Britannia and Lemieux Island on the Ottawa River are not water takings within the Rideau Valley watershed.

Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed through the RVWRT. An update to this message will be issued one week from today, or sooner if conditions warrant it.

To learn more about Ontario’s Low Water Response program visit: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Water /2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_164583.html. Also, visit the RVCA website for local conditions.

In order that we can track impacts of the Low Water Condition, we request that any individuals or businesses in the Rideau Watershed who may be experiencing unusual problems or hardships contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504, ext. 1128 or 1132.


More Information:
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
contact: Patrick Larson, Senior Water Resources Technician
613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504,
ext. 1110

“Rideau Valley Conservation Authority is a partnership of municipalities within the Rideau Valley watershed
created under the
Conservation Authorities Act to deliver a range of programs in watershed management and
natural resource conservation.”





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