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Low Water? We’re on it! 
Did you know that RVCA monitors low water conditions? Watershed condition statements are issued to keep municipalities and the public up to date on low water conditions. With changing weather patterns, low water levels are happening more often. The Rideau River Water Response Team, co-ordinated through the RVCA, is made up of member municipalities, selected government agencies and others. They review precipitation and streamflow information and, when needed, issue low water condition statements for the watershed. The team tracks low water impacts and would like to hear from anyone who may be experiencing difficulties with wells or any other low water issues, you can email them at . To see the most recent watershed condition messages, visit our website www.rvca.ca/watershed-conditions. Messages also appear on our Facebook page (@RideauValleyConservationAuthority) and on Twitter (@RideauValleyCA). Contact BRIAN for more information at .


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(WCS-LW - 4/2020) August 5, 2020 This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed is being downgraded to “Minor” from “Moderate” severity under the Ontario Low Water Response Program because of recent precipitation.

Significant rain over the last week pushed 30-day rainfall totals above what is normal for the time of year at most climate monitoring sites in the region. However, 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 which represents “Minor” low water severity. Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we may receive between 5 and 10 mm of rain across the watershed.

Stream flow values for all waterways are much closer to normal for this time of year compared to a few weeks ago. For example, the measured flows for the Rideau River at Carleton University and the Tay River in Perth are both slightly above 100 percent normal for this time of year. Measured flows for the smaller tributaries such as the Jock River and Kemptville Creek are still below normal for this time of year. Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions are much improved compared to a few weeks ago. 

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. 50-75% lower than normal amounts of precipitation in June and July resulted in below average level and flows conditions across the entire watershed. However, due to the recent significant rainfall received around the reservoir lakes (located in upper part of the watershed), the reservoir lake levels are near and/or above average. Due to the localized nature of the rain events, other nearby lakes located in the upper reaches of the Rideau Valley watershed, remain below normal. 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 10 percent. 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.

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."

EASTERN ONTARIO, August 5, 2020 — In addition to incredible mountain vistas and impressive hiking trails, Foley Mountain now offers a story trail adventure.

A story trail adventure is a fun and engaging activity that places the pages from a children’s story along a trail. Children can enjoy the outdoors and read a book with their family and friends.

“This is a great summertime activity for families to enjoy,” says Rebecca Whitman, Area Supervisor and Outdoor Educator at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area. “This fun, non-contact activity is a great way to promote literacy, healthy lifestyles and connecting with nature.”

The Foley Mountain Story Trail Adventure currently features The Gruffalo, a treasured tale of a crafty mouse and his encounter with other animals and a lovable monster in the woods. The pages of the book, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, are posted along the 350-metre long Jack Herbert Mobility Trail. The trail is easy to navigate for all ages of children. It consists of a wide stone dust path that can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons. Each stop also includes specially designed nature clues and activities, courtesy of Whitman and the Foley Mountain outdoor education team.

“Learning about nature in nature is very powerful,” says Whitman. “We are delighted to support the healthy development of children through play and outdoor experiences.”

Participants are encouraged to give feedback about their experience and those who complete a survey could win an annual pass to Foley Mountain and ten other conservation areas owned and operated by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. More information about the survey can be found at the end of the story trail adventure! 

The story will change after several weeks, so visitors can experience a new adventure in a different area of the conservation area and new activities.

Visitors are welcome to Foley Mountain located just “above” Westport in Rideau Lakes Township to enjoy the story trail adventure, the amazing views from Spy Rock, natural swimming area and picnic areas. Day passes are $7 per vehicle or an annual pass to RVCA conservation areas through-out the watershed is available for $50. Buy your pass online before you visit. Learn more at www.rvca.ca/foley-mountain-ca.

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For more information, contact:
Rebecca Whitman
Foley Mountain Area Supervisor and Outdoor Educator
613-273-3255

Rideau Watershed, July 17, 2020 — The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) provides quality programs and services based on a watershed model and has been doing so for 54 years. These programs benefit the 450,000 people who call the Rideau watershed home. 

Our wide-ranging programs cover a huge geographic area, 4,000 km2, from Central Frontenac to Merrickville-Wolford and downriver to the City of Ottawa. Through science, stewardship, education, policy and regulations the RVCA strives to manage local natural resources sustainably to ensure a healthy watershed for everyone.

“Our programs protect the health of our watershed and the people who live here,” said Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, RVCA General Manager. “Our goal is to build a healthy watershed and resilient communities by balancing human, environmental and economic needs.”

Below are some accomplishments reached in 2019.

Highlights

  • 200,000 visitors to RVCA’s 11 conservation areas, which offer 42 kilometres of public trails
  • 11,379 students participated in curriculum-based, experiential outdoor education programs at Baxter and Foley Mountain Conservation Areas
  • 195,100 trees planted on 100 properties (6.4 million trees planted since 1984)
  • 13,553 trees and shrubs planted on 73 waterfront properties to naturalize shorelines
  • 145 clean water projects approved for funding to help watershed landowners complete $951,818 worth of local water quality improvements
  • 3,687 m2 of invasive species removed during 12 volunteer removal events
  • 1,159 Planning Act applications reviewed
  • 342 permit applications processed under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act
  • 692 septic permit applications processed for new or replacement systems
  • 630 septic systems reinspected around watershed lakes
  • 156 sites sampled for water quality on lakes, rivers and major tributaries
  • 18 flood messages issued for the Rideau watershed, 17 for the Ottawa River watershed

“It’s so important to invest in the conservation and protection of our watershed for the good of our local economy and our community, now and into the future.” said Ms. Casgrain-Robertson. “I want to thank staff, member municipalities, partners and volunteers who helped make 2019 such a success and we look forward to working with our many partners in the year ahead.”

For your copy of the RVCA 2019 Annual Report, visit www.rvca.ca or call 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 for a hard copy.

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For more information contact:
Diane Downey
Director, Communications and Outreach
613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. ext. 1126

RIDEAU VALLEY WATERSHED (including communities of Ottawa, Kemptville, Perth, Smiths Falls, Westport and more), July 16, 2020 – The Rideau Valley Conservation (RVCA) forestry team successfully planted 255,000 trees this spring, bringing the conservation authority’s overall tree planting total to an impressive 6.6 million.

Trees were planted in partnership with private and public landowners on marginal, empty or idle fields across the watershed. Native seedlings including birch, bur oak, cedar, red maple, white pine and white spruce took root over several weeks this spring.

“Thank you to our watershed landowners for working with us through this unique planting season,” said Scott Muldoon, RVCA Forestry Program Manager. “With another successful tree planting season complete, we are now looking ahead to next year.”

Staff are looking for landowners wishing to reforest their retired farm fields or otherwise empty and idle lands. The RVCA’s program is a low-cost, full-service program that includes free site visits, custom planting plans, site preparation, tree planting, follow-up assessments and maintenance to give the seedlings the best chance of survival. All of this is available for only $0.15 per tree, or $120 an acre.

“This program offers landowners easy and affordable tree planting services while helping us meet our larger watershed management goals,” said Muldoon.  

The forestry team is booking site visits this summer to plan for the 2021 spring planting season. The planting area must be at least one acre in size, suitable for tree planting and the landowner must be willing to plant 1,000 trees or more.

Typical costs are $0.15/tree ($120/acre). The RVCA and its planting partners cover all other costs.

Planting partners including the City of Ottawa’s Green Acres program, Forests Ontario, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Hulse, Playfair and McGarry Funeral Homes, One Tree Planted, Stingray LiVE 88.5 and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation contribute to the forestry program to keep costs low for landowners.

RVCA’s reforestation program is a great way for landowners to improve their property. Tree planting is also one of the most practical ways to take care of our watershed and the wider environment. Over time, the trees reduce erosion, establish a forest canopy, lessen the risk of flooding, store carbon dioxide, and provide a wildlife habitat

If you want to plant trees, call Scott Muldoon at 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1175 or email to learn more.

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For more information:
Scott Muldoon
RVCF Forestry Program Manager
613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1175

(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