July 10, 2018 – This statement is to advise that present conditions in the Rideau River watershed are now at the threshold for Minor Low Water status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
Rainfall in the last 90 days, measured at climate stations in and around the watershed, is about 80% of the normal amount for the time of year which is the threshold for Minor Low Water. The present heat wave with several daytime high temperatures above 30 degrees has burned lawns and wilted plants in gardens. Lake levels and streamflows are below normal for the time of year but are still above critical thresholds. Smaller streams will be drying up as they do most years. There is flow in larger streams in the watershed but it is declining.
With the hot weather that continues to cause considerable evaporation, Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are at levels typical of early August. There is, though, sufficient water for Parks Canada – Ontario Waterways to state that draft and navigation are normal throughout the Rideau Canal system.
Conditions are expected to decline with no significant rain in the present 5 day forecasts. 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.
All watershed residents are encouraged to conserve water at all times but they should be particularly conservative when low water conditions occur.
Other relevant information sources are:
- Ministry of Environment and Climate Change: 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