SNC ups drought advisory to Level 2; residents asked to reduce water consumption 20%

The South Nation River, as seen July 17, 2020, looking northeast from County Rd. 9, between Chesterville and Berwick. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — With continued inadequate rainfall across South Nation Conservation’s  jurisdiction, the authority’s Water Response Team has upgraded the drought advisory notice from Level I (minor) to Level II (moderate) low-water conditions for the entire watershed effective July 23.

Residents, businesses, and other industries are now asked to reduce water consumption by 20 percent and to limit non-essential uses (e.g. lawn watering, car washing, etc.), says South Nation Conservation (SNC). Landowners should be aware of their municipality’s water conservation and fire by-laws as well.

Since issuing a Level II Low Water Condition Notice July 9 on the upper South Nation region, SNC has seen conditions deteriorate in the remaining sub-watersheds due to persistent hot and dry weather. Little rainfall received in July has been sporadic and not enough to improve stream flows. These conditions have caused flows in rivers and streams to continue declining. Evaporation could become a significant concern if current conditions persist.

SNC’s Water Response Team met July 23 and members reported reduced crop yields and heat stress in livestock which was compounded with the recent heat wave. Some municipalities reported continued increases on municipal water demand over recent weeks.

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

SNC’s Water Response Team, created under the Ontario Low Water Response program, consists of representatives from provincial and municipal governments, agriculture, and 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 wells and can complete an online survey on SNC’s website to report observed low water impacts.



Scroll down to share this article. Scroll down to search Scroll down to comment.