News Release by Otonabee Region Conservation Authority
The Otonabee Region Water Response Team advises members of the watershed community that the Level 2 low water condition remains in effect. This means that water users of both municipal and private water supplies are strongly encouraged to continue to reduce their water use by 20% in their daily routines and activities.
Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer with Otonabee Conservation, suggests that, “even though lawns look green given what little rainfall we have received, multiple, prolonged, slow and steady rainfall events are needed to replenish wetlands, streams and lakes as well as recharge the groundwater supplies that people depend on for drinking water.”
“Water is a shared resource,” emphasizes Marinigh. “Excessive water use could draw down groundwater aquifers which would have a negative impact on neighbouring and nearby wells. So it’s up to all of us to use water wisely, and continue to reduce water use by 20% in daily routines and activities.”
Otonabee Conservation will continue to monitor watershed conditions as part of its daily water level monitoring cycle. Unless watershed conditions change dramatically, the Level 2 low water condition, urging a 20% reduction in water use, remains in effect until further notice.
Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada, addresses the Otonabee Region Water Response Team, providing an overview of the weather experienced in 2016 and comparisons to other years.
Level 2 Low Water Condition: Facts
The last six months [May to October 2016] have been hot and dry across the Otonabee Region watershed. Looking at temperature and precipitation data we find that:
May was 5th driest since 1866 (the year record keeping was started); the region received a mere 14.7 mm or 18% of normal rainfall;
June was the driest since 1994, having only received 32 mm or 40 % of normal rainfall;
July was the driest since 2001, with rainfall receipts totaling 21.9 mm when we would normally expect to receive 70.6 mm of rain;
August was the warmest since 1947; in 2016 the daytime temperature reached or exceeded 30 C on 29 days; the region received 58 mm or 75.5% of normal rainfall; and, September was the driest since 2009 with rainfall receipts totaling 54 mm, or 63% of normal.
Collectively, the 6-month period of April to September 2016 was the driest 6-month period since 1887 – record keeping began in 1866.
Composition of the Otonabee Region Water Response Team
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.
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.