Drought conditions worsen in part of SNC jurisdiction

South Nation Conservation headquarters in Finch. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

NATION VALLEY — The South Nation Conservation (SNC) Water Response Team has upgraded the drought advisory from minor to moderate (Level 2) for the Upper South Nation River Region. This area extends from the South Nation River headwaters in the Augusta Township to the Village of Casselman. The remainder of the jurisdiction will remain in a minor (Level 1) drought condition as originally issued on July 1.

Since issuing a minor drought advisory in July, SNC has not seen conditions improve over the last month. The rainfall received in August and September has been localized and insufficient to improve soil moisture, streamflows, and groundwater levels. Climate stations near the headwaters of the South Nation River indicated less than 60 percent of normal precipitation in the last 3 months.

SNC’s Water Response Team met on September 21. Members reported observations of algae blooms, fish stranded in pools of dried-up streams, and reduced crop yields.

Should the drought conditions worsen, shallow wells may go dry. Prolonged drought conditions can also affect tree health and newly planted seedlings.

Residents, businesses and other industries throughout the jurisdiction can help by reducing their water consumption by 20 percent, and limiting non-essential uses (e.g. lawn watering, car washing, etc.). Landowners should be aware of their municipality’s water and fire by-laws.

SNC’s Water Response Team, created under the Ontario Low Water Response program, consists of representatives from provincial and municipal governments, agriculture and other special interest groups. SNC will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide updates as required.

Landowners are encouraged to contact SNC if they are experiencing any problems with their well.

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