Low Water Conditions Persist – 10% Water Conservation Encouraged

With precipitation receipts below normal over the past three months and low stream flows in the local rivers and creeks, low water conditions continue to persist throughout the Otonabee Region watershed. Municipalities, residents and businesses are encouraged to continue their efforts to reduce water consumption by 10%.

“The Otonabee Region Water Response Team determined that the Level 1 low water condition will remain in effect for the Otonabee Region watershed until further notice,” explains Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation.

At their meeting on October 18, 2018, the Team members considered the following factors:

  • Above-normal air temperatures have been experienced during the last 3-month period [July-August-September]; there were 2 days in September when the daytime temperature reached or exceeded 300C, thereby bringing the year’s total to 20, which has happened in only 34 of the last 152 years (since 1866)
  • Following a very wet August, during which 60% of the month’s total was received in 2 rainfall events, September was very dry; precipitation receipts recorded at the Peterborough Airport totalled 14% – or less than 12mm of rain – when 80mm of rain is the expected normal; the station at Trent University recorded 35% of normal rainfall receipts
  • The flow rate of Jackson Creek (urban Peterborough) continued to be below normal during the month of September with a flow rate 29% of the historical average; and,
  • Rural watersheds continue to show reduced flows; the Ouse River (rural Asphodel-Norwood) was 35% of the historical average in September.

Watershed regions across southeastern Ontario are experiencing low water conditions, and local Water Response Teams are encouraging everyone to reduce their water usage by 10% to 20% until watershed conditions return to normal.

Marinigh stresses that “Water is a shared resource and we all have a part to play in water conservation. As the colder months approach, there are a few things that homeowners can do to reduce the amount of water used everyday which will lessen the stress on our water resources and help lower overall household costs.”

Marinigh suggests the following water conservation actions:

  • Winterize outdoor spigots (water pipes) to ensure that they don’t burst;
  • Insulate hot water pipes in unheated areas;
  • Repair leaks in the bathroom or kitchen promptly;
  • Use an aerator and/or water flow reducer in your sink faucet; and,
  • Install water-efficient appliances.

Otonabee Conservation will continue to monitor watershed conditions and advise the Water Response Team. The Otonabee Region Water Response Team includes representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, tourism and agriculture, provincial and federal agencies, First Nations and Otonabee Conservation. Watershed conditions are analyzed on a monthly basis and a determination is made based on the available data over the preceding 3-month period.

Learn more about the Low Water Response Program.