RUSSELL — The Castor River subwatershed remains in a severe drought condition after South Nation Conservation’s Water Response Team downgraded that area’s status to Level 3 earlier this week.
As a result of the move, approximately half of the entire South Nation River watershed now appears to fall into Level 3 status, based on mapping supplied by SNC earlier in the summer.
The Castor River subwatershed in the western part of SNC’s jurisdiction is the third area to be identified at Level 3, joining the Bearbrook and Spencerville-area subwatersheds in a state of “severe drought.”
Despite recent rainfalls, streamflows in these areas remain below 30 percent of normal, says the local watershed authority.
The remainder of the jurisdiction continues to be in a moderate (Level 2) drought condition as originally issued on July 8, with less than 50 percent of normal summer monthly flows.
Low water levels can affect fish habitat, crop yields, and the health of newly planted tree seedlings.
SNC says a significant amount of rainfall across the watershed is needed to return conditions to normal. Environment Canada forecasts above-normal temperatures and normal precipitation for Eastern Ontario from October to December
Residents, businesses and other industries throughout the jurisdiction are encouraged to limit non-essential water uses like lawn-watering and car-washing, with the aim of reducing consumption by 50 percent.