June 23, 2016

Drought Expected to become Moderately Severe

For more information, contact:

  • Patrick Larson
  • RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician
  • 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210
  • 613-799-9423 (cell)

With no rain until Monday in weather forecasts, it is expected that the drought status for the Rideau River watershed will pass the threshold from Minor to Moderate Severity by Sunday. The amount of rain forecast for Monday will do little to reverse the trend of deepening drought.

Flows in the Rideau River at Ottawa are 15% of normal for the time of year. Larger tributary streams are about 6% of normal and many small streams are intermittent or dry. Aquatic habitat is becoming limited for all species.

Lake levels in the Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are declining gradually but are within the target ranges. That will not be helped by the forecast warmer temperatures over the weekend that will increase the rate of evaporation.

We continue to recommend water conservation for everyone in the watershed particularly in those areas where residents rely on wells. Holders of Permits to Take Water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible.

Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed through the Rideau Valley Water Response Team. This message will remain in effect for the next five days. An update will be issued when forecast weather indicates a significant change.

Visit Ontario’s Low Water Response program website to learn more. Also, visit the RVCA website for information about drought response. For hourly and daily streamflows and water levels go to http://his.rvca.ca/rvcafwl/ .

In order that we can track impacts of the drought conditions in the watershed, we request that any individuals or businesses in the Rideau Watershed who may be experiencing difficulties with their wells please contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504, ext. 1128 or 1132.

The Drought indicators are:

Minor: 80% to 60% of long-term average precipitation for 540 day and/or 90 day precipitation totals and/or 7-day average streamflows less than the 5 year return period low flow. This category reflects concern.

Moderate: 60% to 40% of long-term average precipitation for 540, 90 and/or 30 day precipitation totals and/or 7-day average streamflows less than the 10 year return period low flow. This category suggests a potentially serious problem is pending.

Severe: less than 40% of long-term average precipitation for 540, 90 and/or 30 day precipitation totals and/or 7-day average streamflows less than the 10 year return period low flow. This category indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand.

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

Member of: conservation ontario