June 30, 2016 – The precipitation indicator for Moderate Drought of 60% of normal was reached last Sunday. Rainfall since then has had a minimal impact and conditions remain very dry.
Flows in the Rideau River at Ottawa are at 25% of normal for the time of year. Two of the major tributary streams, Jock River and Kemptville Creek, are both flowing at about 6% of normal. The Tay River is in relatively better shape benefitting from outflow from Bobs Lake, one of the Rideau Canal reservoir lakes. Smaller streams are intermittent or dry and aquatic habitat is compromised for all species.
Bobs Lake, along with the other three Rideau Canal reservoir lakes are several centimetres below targets for the time of year but still within the operating ranges. Levels on other lakes will continue to drop and boaters will need to keep an eye out for newly exposed shoals.
Water conservation continues to be important. Residents who are on a municipal water system need to check their municipality webpage for any water use restrictions that may be in place. Those living in areas served by groundwater wells need to use water wisely to avoid depleting the aquifer from which they are drawing. Holders of Permits to Take Water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible.
Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed through the Rideau Valley Low Water Response Team. An update to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.
To learn more about Ontario’s Low Water Response program visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program. Also, visit the RVCA website (www.rvca.ca) for information about drought response. For hourly and daily streamflows and water levels go to http://his.rvca.ca/rvcafwl/ .
In order that we can track impacts of the drought conditions in the watershed, we request that any individuals or businesses in the Rideau Watershed who may be experiencing difficulties with their wells please contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-692-3571 or 1-800-267-3504, ext. 1128 or 1132.