Re: WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – Low Water Update # 4 – August 25, 2016
DESPITE RAINFALL, AREAS OF WATERSHED REMAIN IN Level III/ SEVERE drought
August 25, 2016 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WATERSHED— Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Low Water Response Team (LWRT) is maintaining the drought status for the watershed at Level III / Severe status. Despite significant rainfall over the last two weeks, flows and levels in several sub watersheds of the Mississippi River, including the Fall River, Clyde River and Indian River remain in Level III/Severe condition. While criteria for precipitation indicators have moved to Level I / Minor status, flows throughout the system remain virtually unchanged at the Level III / Severe status. While most lakes have stabilized during this time frame, the majority are still below normal for this time of year. Crotch Lake, the major reservoir lake in the system, is still approximately 0.70 m below normal and getting close to minimum levels.
“The rainfall has certainly helped trees and lawns, but there is still very little water in swamps and creeks. Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet,” indicates Gord Mountenay, MVCA Water Management Supervisor. “We have seen very little increase in flows to the rivers and tributaries from the recent storm events. There is more rain in the forecast which should help but, if conditions persist, the main branch of the Mississippi River is at risk as the levels in Crotch Lake continue to drop.”
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. Following the LWR Team meeting today, the Town of Carleton Place was expected to implement a complete watering ban effective immediately. Check the municipality’s website for what this means to residents within the Town.
The LWRT continues to urge 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/ .