Level 2 Drought Persists – 20% water conservation encouraged

Owing to one of the driest years so far on record, drought conditions continue to be experienced throughout the watershed region. The Otonabee Region Water Response Team strongly encourages members of the community to continue to reduce their water use by 20% in their daily routines and activities.

“We have seen 25 days this year when daytime air temperatures have reached 30oC or higher. Precipitation receipts August 16th [2016] indicate that we have received 50% of normal precipitation (rainfall and snow combined),” says Gordon Earle, Water Resources Technologist for Otonabee Conservation.

Jackson-Creek- summer 2016

As a result of the prolonged hot and dry weather, Jackson Creek [Peterborough] is flowing at 20% of normal, and the Ouse River [Norwood] is flowing at 27% of normal. “Multiple, prolonged, slow and steady rainfall events are needed to replenish wetlands, streams and lakes as well as recharge groundwater supplies,” adds Earle.

“Water is a shared resource,” emphasizes Earle. “Excessive water use could draw down groundwater aquifers which would have a negative impact on neighboring and nearby wells. So it’s up to all of us to use water wisely, and continue to make water conservation a regular part of our daily lives.”

For water saving tips and measures that you can do – every day – please download the “Water Conservation in and around the Home” Fact Sheet.

In re-affirming the Level 2 drought condition when they met on Thursday [August 17th], members of the Otonabee Region Water Response Team are reminding local residents that non-essential water uses, such as lawn watering and washing of vehicles in the driveway, should be suspended until further notice. Many municipalities have invoked water use bylaws. Residents should know what bylaws are in effect in their municipality regarding water use, as well as outdoor fire bans.

The Otonabee Region watershed encompasses the drainage areas of the Otonabee, Indian and Ouse Rivers within the municipalities of Asphodel-Norwood, Cavan Monaghan, Douro-Dummer, Otonabee South Monaghan, Selwyn and the City of Peterborough, as well as portions of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Trent Hills.

The Otonabee Region Water Response Team is made up of representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, tourism, cottage and agriculture sectors, provincial and federal agencies, First Nations and Otonabee Conservation.

Otonabee Conservation will continue to monitor watershed conditions closely over the next several weeks. The Otonabee Region Water Response Team will meet again in early September to re-evaluate watershed conditions.

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