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(WCS-LW - 3/2020) July 15, 2020 – This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed continues to be at MODERATE severity under the Ontario Low Water Responses Program.

Although varying amounts of rain fell across the watershed last weekend, the watershed has still received very little rainfall over the past three months. The average 90-day rainfall measured at climate stations in and around the watershed is below 60 per cent of normal for this time of year. In the past 30 days, average rainfall is below 45 per cent of normal. The recent hot weather has also increased the evaporation rates throughout the watershed. Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we may receive over 20 mm of rain.

Stream flow values for all waterways are well below normal for this time of year. For example, the measured flows for the Rideau River at Carleton University and the Tay River in Perth are at about 50 percent normal for this time of year. Measured flows for the smaller tributaries such as the Jock River and Kemptville Creek are at or below 3 percent of normal for this time of year. Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions are poor and declining with many fragmented streams, warm temperatures and numerous reports of extensive algae and/or weed growth.

Members of the Rideau Valley Water Response Team have indicated that municipal water supplies are not experiencing any issues as a result of low water and no issues with private wells have been reported. However, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA) indicate numerous concerns including loss of crop yields and increase in wells being drilled to supply water for livestock.

Following an early spring freshet this year, Parks Canada are closely monitoring the water levels throughout the Rideau Canal system inside the Rideau Valley watershed. Water levels in the reservoir lakes, located in the upper reaches of the Rideau Valley watershed, are below normal and are expected to decline further with limited precipitation in the forecast. Rideau River flows downstream of Big Rideau Lake have been reduced to minimum. Water levels in the Rideau River below Smiths Falls are within navigable ranges but some areas are below average for this time of year.

Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent and strongly encouraged to limit non-essential water usage. This is especially important for those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources and all residents on private, communal or municipal wells. There is less of a concern for residents of urban Ottawa because the City of Ottawa central drinking water system draws from the Ottawa River. Residents throughout the watershed should be aware of any bans or bylaws that may be in place in their municipalities regarding fires or watering bans.

In order that RVCA can track impacts of the low water conditions in the watershed, its is requested that any individuals or businesses in the Rideau Watershed who may be experiencing difficulties with their wells or other low water impacts please contact the Conservation Authority by email. Please send emails to .

Although there is some rain in the forecast, low water conditions are expected to intensify in the coming weeks. Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.

More resources:

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More Information:
Contact: Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6804, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141

"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."

 

One of our pedestrian bridges at Chapman Mills Conservation Area will be closed on July 9, 2020. Trail travel will be limited depending on your access to the park.

See map for closure details.

Chapman Mills Bridge Closure 2 copy

 

Ontario Approves Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan and Assessment Report Amendments

MISSISSIPPI AND RIDEAU WATERSHEDS, June 30, 2020 — Amendments to the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan and the Rideau Valley Assessment Report to further protect municipal drinking water systems have been approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP). The amendments, which took effect on May 21, 2020, include:

  • revised vulnerable areas for the new and existing municipal wells in Kemptville (owned and operated by the Municipality of North Grenville) and for the neighbouring Merrickville drinking water system
  • updated policies for the storage of chemicals known as dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) e.g. chemicals used for the repair of motor vehicles, dry cleaning, etc.
  • updated Source Protection Plan and Assessment Report mapping

“These amendments ensure local, municipal drinking water systems continue to be protected through the drinking water source protection program” said Kestrel Wraggett, Project Manager for the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region. “The Kemptville municipal drinking water system serves approximately 5,000 people and relies on the safe management of a well protection area of 75 km2. Having clean, safe water is essential to the health of our watershed community and safeguarding our water resources is crucial.”

Drinking water sources in the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region include groundwater, drawn from aquifers underground, and water drawn from rivers. The Source Protection Plan sets out policies that use a variety of tools to protect municipal drinking water sources from contamination. These tools include education, risk management planning, prohibition, and land use planning. Policies in the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan first came into effect on January 1, 2015. Visit the Region’s local website at https://www.mrsourcewater.ca to find out more.

An amendment to the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan and Rideau Valley Assessment Report is necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

The Notice of Approval of the amended Assessment Report and Source Protection Plan for the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region is also posted on Ontario’s Environmental Registry at https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-1343.

If you have questions about the approved changes, please contact Kestrel Wraggett at .

June 25, 2020 – This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed is now at MODERATE severity under the Ontario Low Water Responses Program.

Although some areas of the watershed have received more rain than others, the watershed has received very little rainfall over the past three months. The average 90-day rainfall measured at climate stations in and around the watershed is below 80 per cent of normal for this time of year. In the past 30 days, average rainfall is well below 50 per cent of normal. Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we will continue to receive minimal precipitation.

Stream flow values for all waterways are well below normal for this time of year. For example, the measured flows for the Rideau River at Carleton University and the Tay River in Perth are at about 40 percent normal for this time of year. Measured flows for the smaller tributaries such as the Jock River and Kemptville Creek are near 5 percent of normal for this time of year. Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions are poor with many fragmented streams and numerous reports of algae and/or weed growth.

Following an early spring freshet this year, Parks Canada are closely monitoring the water levels throughout the Rideau Canal system inside the Rideau Valley watershed. Water levels in the reservoir lakes, located in the upper reaches of the Rideau Valley watershed, are below normal and are expected to decline further with little precipitation in the forecast. Rideau River flows downstream of Big Rideau Lake have been reduced to minimum. Water levels in the Rideau River below Smiths Falls are within navigable ranges but some areas are below average for this time of year.

Water conservation is encouraged for all watershed residents and businesses, especially those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources and all residents on private, communal or municipal wells. There is less of a concern for residents of urban Ottawa because the City of Ottawa central drinking water system draws from the Ottawa River. Residents throughout the watershed should be aware of any bans or bylaws that may be in place in their municipalities regarding fires or watering bans.

Conditions are expected to decline with limited rain in the forecast. Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant. 

More resources: 


"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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Contact Us

Address:
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

Phone:
613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504

Email:

Hours:

Regular Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Member of: conservation ontario