On January 12, 2013, the Community Stewardship Council of Lanark County (CSCLC) and Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) hosted a workshop to talk about the impacts of the drought and the low water conditions of 2012.
2012 DROUGHT FACTS IN MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED:
- Ottawa area experienced 31 days above 30°C (almost four times higher than average)
- July 1, 2011 to June 30 2012 were the driest 12 months on record
- July 2012 driest since 1931
- Persistent low soil- moisture conditions (low crop yields and dry wetlands)
- Some water tables, lake and pond levels, and stream flows reached record lows
- Typical summer river flows were reached in early April; lake levels in mid-May
- Summer flows on the Mississippi River were maintained almost entirely from reservoir lakes
- Limited water- flow negatively impacted hydro generation and tourism activities
Please click the links below to view the workshop report and presentations.
LOW-WATER RESPONSE IN MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED—JENNIFER NORTH, PAUL LEHMAN, MVC
MVC has a large role in the communication and monitoring of low-water response in the Mississippi Watershed. It is important that the public understand the operation of the Low Water Response Program and its implications and community triggered responses.
IMPACTS ON HYDRO GENERATION—SCOTT NEWTON, MISSISSIPPI RIVER POWER CORPORATION
The drought of 2012 significantly affected hydro generation in the watershed.
IMPACTS ON COMMUNITIES—TROY DUNLOP, TOWN OF MISSISSIPPI MILLS
Rural municipalities rely on surface and groundwater for drinking and daily use. Mississippi Mills (which relies on groundwater) banned watering activities (i.e. use of hoses and sprinklers) in the town of Almonte this summer. It is appreciated that there were negative impacts on the community.
IMPACTS ON FORESTRY IN EASTERN ONTARIO—STEVE D’EON, FOREST STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE OF RENFREW COUNTY
Large forest areas were affected by the drought of 2012. This was visible as leaves changed colour or dropped. Losses were greatest in new plantations. Trees will recover, however, the full extent of the impacts will be more clear in a year. He encouraged individual forest managers to limit added stress to their trees during times of drought.
IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES—BRUCE MOORE, OMAFRA
Agricultural impacts varied across the area. However, it is difficult for communities to provide support to each other when so many of your immediate neighbours are suffering the same sort of impact. The drought may trigger a variety of longer term adaptations and business decisions.
IMPACTS ON ECOSYSTEMS—ECOLOGIST SHAUN THOMPSON, OMNR
Wetlands are resilient and we can expect them to recover in a year or two. New species may appear.
IMPLICATIONS FOR GROUNDWATER AND WELLS—PETER STANTON, STANTON DRILLING INC.
Local wells and groundwater respond to droughts. Water tables dropped in 2012. Shallow wells that rely on near surface water sources are most readily impacted during droughts.