Re: WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – Low Water Update # 5 – September 14, 2016
Despite Rainfall, Watershed Remains In LEVEL III / SEVERE Drought
September 14, 2016 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WATERSHED— Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Low Water Response Team (LWRT) is advising residents that despite recent rainfall the entire watershed remains at a Level III / Severe status. Rainfall over the last month which helped revitalize the grass and other vegetation has had no impact on flows and levels in the sub watersheds of the Mississippi River including the Fall River, Clyde River and Indian River.
“Soil moisture conditions are so dry that any rainfall received has been absorbed into the ground with very little runoff into our streams, creeks and larger tributaries. Most swamps and virtually all of the feeder creeks and tributaries are either completely dry or very close to being so,” said Gord Mountenay, MVCA Water Management Supervisor. “We will be starting our fall drawdowns of the upper lakes in the next few weeks, taking into consideration best practices to maintain some flow in the river.”
MVCA continues to advise the general public to use extreme caution while out on area waterways for recreational purposes (swimming, boating).
Most municipalities have some form of fire ban and/or water restriction ban in place. Check municipality’s websites for what this means to area residents. No issues have been identified at this time within Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place municipal water usage and residents are applauded for conserving their water usage.
The LWRT continues to urge those residents and residents on well systems to use water conservatively. Water conservation is recommended for everyone within the watershed although it is less critical in the urban area of Ottawa that is served by a water system which draws water from the Ottawa River.
Those businesses or residents that have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible. Using rain barrels to capture any rain to water lawns and gardens, and avoidance of using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences all contribute to the conservation of our water resources. Municipalities may have invoked water restrictions, so check your municipality’s website for water restriction bylaws. For more water conservation tips visit www.mvc.on.ca.
In order to track impacts and define the severity of the drought conditions within the watershed, we request that any individuals or businesses within the Mississippi Valley watershed that are experiencing difficulties with their wells please contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-253-0006 ext. 233 or 243. There is a questionnaire on our website that can be filled out by the public that have witnessed environmental concerns or issues with dry wells to assist in documenting this event.
Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at http://mvc.on.ca/water-levels/.