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Displaying items by tag: water levels

WCS – R03/2021

March 8, 2021 –The winter of 2020-21 is quickly coming to an end. After a mild start, February brought cooler temperatures. The watershed saw a significant rain event in late December, followed by below normal precipitation in January and above normal precipitation in February. Current conditions recorded at several RVCA and Parks Canada snow course sites are indicating normal water content amounts in the snow for this time of year. In general, water levels on lakes and flows in the streams are presently below normal for this time of year.

The current short-term weather forecast indicates a warm week ahead with daytime high temperatures well above zero from Tuesday through at least next weekend and night-time low temperatures also above zero on Wednesday and Thursday. The forecast indicates some but no significant precipitation this week.

If the temperatures come as forecast, a significant amount of the snow is expected to melt across the Rideau Valley watershed which will make water levels and flows rise quickly and may result in flooding for low lying areas along all waterways, especially near small creeks and streams. Parks Canada staff who manage the water levels for the Rideau Canal have indicated that the levels in lakes are expected to rise in the upper watershed lakes as the snowpack begins to melt.

City of Ottawa crews have begun the annual ice removal program on the Rideau River between Rideau Falls and Bronson Avenue. Crews will work to keep the ice from reforming until the spring freshet occurs (for more information: City of Ottawa information at 311).

With the rising water levels that can be expected over the coming weeks, ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams, and rivers will be unstable. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision. 

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve 
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling 
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase 
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until March 31, 2021, at 5 p.m. and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.

"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."

 RVCA Watershed Conditions Statements:

  • Water Safety – High flows, unstable banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.
  • Flood Outlook – Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts, calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams and/or lakeshore flooding or erosion.
  • Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individuals in flood prone areas should prepare.
  • Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.

March 25, 2021­ - Above normal temperatures in March have melted most of the snow across the Rideau Valley watershed. The snow melt was quite rapid at first causing water levels and flows to rise quickly in some areas. This was followed by a more gradual melt of the remaining snow. For the most part, water levels and flows are about normal for this time of year and are well below flood thresholds.    

The short-term forecast is calling for rainfall amounts of between 40 to 50 millimetres between Thursday and Sunday, with heaviest rain on Friday, and cooler temperatures but still above zero. If the rain comes as forecast, water levels and flows will increase again across the Rideau Valley Watershed. As such, an updated FLOOD OUTLOOK is in effect due the possibility of flooding for all low-lying areas along all waterways, especially near small creeks and streams. Parks Canada staff who manage the water levels for the Rideau Canal have indicated that the levels in the upper watershed lakes are currently below average and expected to rise but not to flood levels.

Further to the above, a FLOOD WATCH is in effect for the low-lying areas along Stevens Creek and Taylor Drain in the Village of North Gower. If the rain comes as forecast, water levels may be similar too, or possibly higher than, those already observed this spring.

With the rising water levels expected over the coming days, the remaining ice cover on lakes, ditches, local streams, and rivers will be unstable. In addition, ice cover in the rivers and streams may breakup as a result of warm temperatures and higher flows, increasing the risk of ice jams and associated overbank flooding. Extreme caution should be exercised by everyone when near local waterbodies. Parents should inform their children of the risks and provide appropriate supervision. 

Residents in flood-prone or low-lying areas, historically susceptible to flooding, should take the necessary precautions to protect their property, such as:

  • Ensuring sump pump is clear, in good working condition and has a backwater valve 
  • Ensuring easy access to a portable backup generator and pump
  • Ensuring downspouts are clear and the outlet is at least 3 metres from the dwelling 
  • Securing items that might float away as flows increase 
  • Removing valuable items from basements or lower floors that could be subject to flooding
  • Keeping emergency phone numbers handy
  • Familiarizing yourself with your municipality’s Emergency Preparedness Plan

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until April 15, 2021, at 5 p.m. and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.

(WCS-LW - 1/2021) June 8, 2021 — Due to below average rainfall over the last three months, conditions in the Rideau Valley Watershed now meet the threshold for Minor Low Water status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program. 

Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve water by limiting non-essential uses (e.g., lawn watering, car washing, etc.), for an overall consumption reduction of about 10 percent. Residents are also encouraged to consult with their municipalities regarding any water conservation bylaws that may be in effect.

Stream flow values are lower than normal by as much as 20 to 30 percent and field observations indicate that ecological conditions are becoming stressed. The average 90-day rainfall measured at climate stations in and around the watershed is near 60 per cent of normal for this time of year, which has triggered the Minor Low Water status. In the past 30 days, rainfall has been variable across the watershed, with the average amount being near 35 per cent of normal. Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast indicates we will receive minimal precipitation.

Following an early spring freshet this year, Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels throughout the Rideau Canal system inside the Rideau Valley watershed. Water levels in the reservoir/flow-through lakes are currently well below normal and are expected to decline further with little precipitation in the short-term 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.

To better understand local conditions; landowners, businesses, and industries are encouraged to contact Brian Stratton by email () if they are experiencing any unusual water-related problems. 

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:

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-environment-conservation-parks

Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program

RVCA website: www.rvca.ca

Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels

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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.

 

(WCS-LW - 2/2021) July 6, 2021 — The Rideau Valley Low Water Response Team is maintaining a MINOR low water status for the Rideau River watershed after officials met to discuss dry conditions on Tuesday, July 6.

Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to continue 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 watering or fires bans.

Significant rain over the past few weeks has 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. Stream flow values for all waterways are well below their normal values for this time of year but slightly improved from a few weeks ago. For example, the measured flows for the Rideau River at Carleton University and the Tay River in Perth are both near 45 percent of 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 declining with increased fragmentation of many streams.  High water temperatures, low oxygen levels and increased plant growth and are being experienced in many areas.

Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we may receive between 35 and 45 mm of rain across the watershed. These rainfall amounts are not expected to greatly improve the 90-day rainfall deficit or the low stream flow values discussed above.

Following an early spring freshet this year, Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels throughout the Rideau Canal system inside the Rideau Valley watershed. The water levels in the reservoir lakes (Bob’s Lake and Wolfe Lake) are currently slightly below normal and are expected to decline further with some precipitation in the short-term forecast. The water level in Christie Lake (flow-through lake), while expected to remain below normal, will fluctuate with some precipitation in the short-term 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.

To better understand local conditions, landowners, businesses, and industries are encouraged to contact Brian Stratton by email () if they are experiencing any unusual water-related problems.

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:

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks: https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-environment-conservation-parks

Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program

RVCA website: www.rvca.ca

Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels

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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.

 

(WCS-LW - 3/2021) August 10, 2021 – Despite recent rain, the Rideau Valley Water Response Team is maintaining a MINOR low water status for the Rideau River watershed after officials met to discuss conditions on Tuesday, August 10.

Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to continue 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.

With variable rainfall amounts across the watershed over the last month, the 30-day and 90-day rainfall totals are above what is normal for the time of year at some of the climate monitoring sites in the watershed. However, because of the variability seen in local rainfall amounts, the Rideau Valley Water Response Team decided to maintain a minor low water severity. Streamflow values for the large waterways (i.e., Rideau River and Tay River) are near their normal values for this time of year but stream flow values are well below normal for the smaller waterways (i.e., Jock River and Kemptville Creek). Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions have improved over the last month.

Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we may receive between 10 and 15 mm of rain across the watershed. These rainfall amounts are not expected to greatly improve the low water conditions discussed above.

Following an early spring freshet this year, Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels throughout the Rideau Canal system inside the Rideau Valley watershed. The water levels in the reservoir lakes (Bob’s Lake and Wolfe Lake) are currently near normal and are expected to stabilize with some precipitation in the short-term forecast. The water level in Christie Lake (flow-through lake), while expected to remain below normal, will fluctuate with some precipitation in the short-term 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.

To better understand local conditions, landowners, businesses, and industries are encouraged to contact Brian Stratton by email () if they are experiencing any unusual water-related problems. 

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:

Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks: https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortage

Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program

RVCA website: www.rvca.ca

Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels

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More Information:
Contact: Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

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.

 

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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