Drought status: Level I low water condition declared by SNC

Members of the Chesterville Kayak Club participate in their annual Poker Run on the South Nation River last month. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — A Level I low water condition was declared today throughout South Nation Conservation’s jurisdiction, leading the watershed authority to ask residents, businesses and industries to cut consumption by 10 percent.

The July 11 declaration is based on lack of precipitation and stream flow indicators.

South Nation Conservation (SNC) suggests lowering water consumption by reducing non-essential uses such as watering lawns and washing cars.

While stream gauges are still indicating an above-level I condition, low precipitation in the last few months is “the leading factor” in the current “drought status,” says SNC in a press release issued this afternoon.

According to Environment Canada, precipitation over the past three months was 60 to 76 percent below normal. Cumulative precipitation stands at just 20 to 40 percent of historical values for the month of June analyzed from Environment Canada climate stations in Ottawa, and Brockville.

Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, SNC has formed a Water Response Team (WRT) in conjunction with members of municipal and provincial governments, along with agricultural and special interest groups. The WRT will meet to discuss the severity of the situation and to ensure residents are informed of decisions made regarding conservation and restriction efforts.

Of the three levels of low-water — or drought — conditions, a level I indicates “the potential” of a water supply problem should current precipitation and stream flow trends persist.  A level II condition indicates minor supply issues may be apparent, prompting further conservation and non-essential usage restrictions, and a level III condition indicates the failure of the water supply to meet demand.

SNC says it will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as required.

To better understand local conditions; landowners, businesses, and industries are encouraged to contact SNC if they are experiencing any unusual water-related problems.

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