Fresh water is a natural resource critical to the economic and environmental well being of all residents of the Rideau Valley. Periods of dry, hot weather and low water levels were relatively uncommon — happening every decade or so. But, with changing weather patterns, low water levels may occur more often, especially with the increasing demand for water.
The Government of Ontario has developed the Ontario Low Water Response Plan, which ensures that the province is prepared for low water conditions in the future. The response plan helps co-ordinate and support local response in the event of drought. The local teams are established in areas experiencing low water conditions so that the local community can carry out actions to reduce and better manage water use.
The Rideau Valley Water Response Team, co-ordinated by RVCA, is made up of representatives of water users: member municipalities, farmers, businesses, recreation and others. The Low Water Response Team communicates when necessary to review stream flow information and weather forecasts. Based on the information, the committee may declare a low water condition for the watershed.
Low water affects:
- municipal sources
- private wells
- lakes, rivers, ponds and all the residents in those waters
- agriculture — irrigation, watering livestock
- fire fighting
- business and industrial uses
- recreation (boating, fishing, swimming)
- personal use — drinking, washing, laundry, etc.
Members of the Rideau Watershed Low Water Response Team
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests
- Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
- Parks Canada - Rideau Canal
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
- Watershed municipalities