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News from: April 2019

May 17, 2019 — Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), in conjunction with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and South Nation Conservation (SNC) is maintaining the FLOOD WARNING issued on April 19, 2019 for the areas under our jurisdiction along the Ottawa River.

The most recent analysis from the Ottawa River Regulation Committee (ORRC) indicate that water levels along the lower Ottawa River from Chats Lake to the Grenville/ Hawkesbury area are slowly declining but remain high.

All flood-prone areas along the Ottawa River from Lac Coulonge down to the Montreal Archipelago are at risk as spring runoff continues along the upper Ottawa River. Levels are expected to remain high for the next few weeks. Risk is highly dependent on the amount of precipitation that is received. Residents are strongly urged to keep sandbags in place for now. Updates to all projections will be provided as they become available.

Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures. Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children.

This FLOOD WARNING is in effect until Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

RVCA and its Ottawa partners, MVCA and SNC monitor the water levels and weather forecasts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as part of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. Updates are provided as conditions change.

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at www.ottawariver.ca/forecast.php.

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit https://www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.”

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"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 area watercourses.
Published in Media Release

May 16, 2019 – The cancellation of the provincial 50 Million Trees program has generated a lot of conversation – and with good reason. As Ontario residents mop up from record flooding, and as climate change promises more intense weather to come, we need to be adding tree programs, not chopping them.

Trees are a vital part of a healthy environment: they clean our air, they create habitat, they capture carbon and they reduce runoff and erosion. They also help us fight floods like the one Ottawa saw this spring.

At the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), we’ve relied on the 50 Million Trees Program since 2007 to help us plant +200,000 seedlings every spring. Without it, we may find ourselves planting 20,000 trees instead of 200,000 – unless our generous community, corporate and individual supporters can help.

Under the program, landowners currently pay as low as $0.15 per tree, or $120 per acre, to reforest their retired farm fields and marginal lands. But without the provincial funding, tree planting will becoming unaffordable for many landowners and that will drastically reduce the number of trees being planted in the Rideau Valley watershed.

It will also mean local job losses. Our seedlings are grown at Ferguson Forestry Centre in Kemptville, which will face layoffs and financial losses because of the program cuts.

But all is not lost. We know there is an appetite in this community to work together to fight floods, combat climate change and make our community liveable now and in the future.

Donations, corporate sponsorships and community partnerships can save this cost-effective and successful tree planting program and continue growing a living legacy right here in our backyards.

And if we can do that, everybody wins.

To support the program, visit canadahelps.org or contact Diane Downey, executive director of the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, a registered charity which supports the RVCA’s conservation and watershed management goals. She can be reached at diane.downey@rvcf.ca or 613-692-3571 ext. 1126.

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Published in Media Release

May 14, 2019 – As homeowners and municipalities look to clean up after another record flood on the Ottawa River, the need to prevent such damage from happening again and again is clear.

We don’t yet know how much the 2019 flood will cost, but we know it will be much more than prevention. Hundreds of homes were damaged, millions of sandbags were filled, residents were evacuated, public infrastructure was compromised, and military and government staff logged significant overtime. And don’t forget the incalculable loss of photo albums and family keepsakes floating in soggy basements, and the exhaustion of homeowners and volunteers fighting the rising water.

But it could have been worse. Without current regulations, more homes and businesses would have been built in the floodplain, meaning more buildings damaged and more people affected.

The good news is, prevention is possible and infinitely cheaper than recovery – all we have to do is invest in it.

Ottawa’s conservation authorities are a key part of preventing flood damage, as they’re responsible for mapping flood-prone areas, monitoring flood conditions, giving municipalities and residents advance warning, keeping infrastructure like berms, dikes and dams in good working order, and prohibiting new development in flood zones. They also require homeowners in the floodplain to floodproof their homes and septic systems when they rebuild, to prevent future damage.

They do all this on a pretty tight budget (even tighter now due to recent provincial cuts), with the support of their partner municipalities.

Conservation authorities also prevent floods by planting hundreds of thousands of trees each year and protecting critical wetlands to build natural flood resilience right into our communities. Forests and wetlands act like sponges, catching and storing runoff so it percolates slowly into waterways. Without forests and wetlands, rain and snowmelt would have nowhere to go but directly into rivers and lakes, swelling them faster and higher.

Flooding is a natural function, and it will happen more often as extreme weather intensifies. And when today’s flood waters recede and the memories of sandbag walls begin to fade, conservation authorities will need continued public and political support when we are directing development away from floodplains, requiring existing structures to be floodproofed and taking steps to protect forests and wetlands.

We need financial support from all levels of government to continue updating floodplain mapping, operating and maintaining water control structures and monitoring flood conditions. It’s also time for the three levels of government to have serious conversations about buy-out and relocation programs for homeowners in the path of floods.

Cancelling the provincial 50 Million Trees program, reducing conservation authority funding and any weakening of regulations aimed at protecting wetlands or floodplains will only lead to more flooding and millions or billions in damages down the road.

Taxpayers foot the bill when major floods damage communities. Supporting the work of conservation authorities and municipalities to protect people and property from flooding in the first place is much better bang for our buck.

 

By Sommer Casgrain-Robertson, General Manager, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Published in Media Release

May 14, 2019 — Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA), in conjunction with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) and South Nation Conservation (SNC) is maintaining the FLOOD WARNING issued on April 19, 2019 for the areas under our jurisdiction along the Ottawa River.

The most recent analysis from the Ottawa River Regulation Committee (ORRC) indicate that water levels along the lower Ottawa River from Chats Lake to the Grenville/ Hawkebury area have stabilized and will slowly recede in the coming weeks.

All flood-prone areas along the Ottawa River from Lac Coulonge down to the Montreal Archipelago are at risk as snowmelt continues along the upper Ottawa River. Levels are expected to remain high for the next two to three weeks. Risk is highly dependent on the amount of precipitation that is received. Residents are strongly urged to keep sandbags in place for now. Updates to all projections will be provided as they become available.

Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures. Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children.

This FLOOD WARNING is in effect until Friday, May 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

RVCA and its Ottawa partners, MVCA and SNC monitor the water levels and weather forecasts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as part of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. Updates are provided as conditions change.

The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at www.ottawariver.ca/forecast.php.

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit https://www.ontario.ca/law-and-safety/flood-forecasting-and-warning-program.”

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"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 area watercourses.
Published in Media Release

May 13, 2019 —A FLOOD WATCH is being maintained for properties around Bobs Lake and Christie Lake.

The water levels on both lakes continue to decline slowly and remain above average for this time of year.  The current water level on Bobs Lake is above the ‘Full Supply’ threshold at which flood damage can occur.  The current water level on Christie Lake is such that some flood damage can also occur. The current forecast indicates up to 30 mm of rain could fall between today and Wednesday. This rainfall will likely increase water levels again on Bobs Lake and Christie Lake. Parks Canada staff are closely monitoring the water levels in these lakes.  Operations at the Bolingbroke Dam will take place as required to balance the levels in Bobs Lake and Christie Lake.

Water levels are now near seasonal in the rest of the Rideau Valley Watershed.

Everyone needs to be cautious around lakes and streams with the fluctuating water levels. Children need to be educated about the hazards and kept away from all watercourses.

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Tuesday May 21, 2019 at 5 PM and will be updated at that time unless the forecast or conditions change.

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More Information:
Brian Stratton, RVCA Manager Engineering Services
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6804, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1141
 or cell 613-799-9423

Media Enquiries:
Diane Downey, RVCA Director of Communications and Outreach
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1126
 or cell 613-698-9453


"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 area watercourses.
Published in Media Release
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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:
info@rvca.ca

Hours:

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

Member of: conservation ontario