February 26, 2024

Warm temperatures and rain to cause early melt across Rideau Valley Watershed

For more information, contact:

(WCS – R03/2024)
February 26, 2024 – Unseasonably warm temperatures combined with significant rainfall is expected to trigger a widespread melt across the Rideau Valley Watershed this week. Temperatures are expected to rise significantly on Tuesday, February 27 and last until Thursday, February 29, with daily highs exceeding 10°C. Widespread precipitation is also expected during this period, with forecasts estimating between 20 and 30 mm of rainfall.

Although snow conditions are considered below normal for this time of year, the warm temperatures and added rain will trigger an accelerated melt. Beginning on Tuesday, water levels and flows are expected to increase in all waterways in the Rideau Valley Watershed. The degree of increase will depend on actual precipitation and temperatures over this period. If additional rainfall occurs between Tuesday and Thursday, flooding is possible on smaller creeks and streams in the Rideau Valley Watershed, including Stevens Creek and any connected creeks or ditches (near North Gower) which are highly susceptible to spring flooding. This short-term forecast does not suggest flooding will occur along the Rideau River, however the elevated water levels and flows will make the region more susceptible to flooding if another storm event occurs in the near future.

While significant flooding is not anticipated at this time, it is advised that residents adjacent to smaller tributaries and streams take precautionary measures to protect their property, including:

  • Ensuring sump pumps are clear, in good working condition and have 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

With the expected temperature shift over the coming days, 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. 

This watershed conditions statement is in effect until Monday, Mar. 04, 2024 at 5 PM or until an update has been issued.



More Information:

Contact: Justin Robert, Hydrometric Data Specialist 
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6841, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1194


"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.

Contact Us

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
3889 Rideau Valley Drive
Manotick, Ontario K4M 1A5

613-692-3571, 1-800-267-3504



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

Member of: conservation ontario