This page is dedicated to providing the most current and up-to-date information regarding low water conditions. New information will appear at the top of the page.
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Last Updated: June 8, 2021
Minor Low Water Conditions in Rideau Valley Watershed
June 8, 2021
Due to below average rainfall over the last three months, conditions in the Rideau Valley Watershed now meet the threshold for Minor Low Water status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
Visit the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s website to read the full statement.
South Nation Conservation Declares Level 1 Low Water Condition
June 4, 2021
Despite the rain received last week, South Nation Conservation (SNC) has issued a Level I Low Water Condition for its entire watershed in Eastern Ontario. The Level 1 Conditions was declared due to a drier than usual spring and a general lack of precipitation. To learn more, please visit the SNCA’s website.
Posted June 7, 2021
Low Water Status Returned to “Normal” in South Nation Jurisdiction
October 9, 2020
As of October 9th, 2020, South Nation Conservation (SNC) has terminated Level I (minor) low water conditions for the Upper South Nation Subwatershed region. This area extends from the South Nation River headwaters in Augusta Township to the Municipality of Casselman.
Ground and surface water levels across the watershed have returned to normal for this time of year thanks to consistent precipitation over the past couple of weeks in Eastern Ontario. The short-term weather forecast is also calling for more rain in the coming days.
The termination of low water conditions formally ends this summer’s drought, which at its height triggered Level II, or moderate, conditions in July following a hot and dry spring. Level II drought conditions had not been experienced in the watershed since 2018.
Through the Ontario Low Water Response Program, SNC monitors precipitation, stream flows, and water levels to gauge low water conditions and provides notice to its member municipalities and watershed residents on behalf of the province. SNC staff will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates as required.
Residents are encouraged to contact SNC through an online portal on SNC’s website if they are continuing to experience any problems with their wells or if they have any concerns and information to share with staff from this year’s drought.
You can read the full SNCA memo on their website.
Posted October 9, 2020
Low Water Status Returned to “Normal” in Rideau Valley Watershed
Watershed conditions in the Rideau Valley Watershed (includes the Kemptville Creek subwatershed) have returned to Normal under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
Significant rainfall during the last month (up to 250 mm or 10″ in the North Augusta area) has resulted in stream flows and water levels returning to near normal to above normal values for this time of the year. More rain is in the forecast.
Please visit their website to review a full copy of the RVCA’s Watershed Conditions Statement.
Posted September 2, 2020
Low Water Conditions Much Improved in Rideau Valley Watershed
Due to recent precipitation, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s Water Response Team has downgraded the low water status on the Rideau River watershed to Minor or Level 1. Kemptville Creek forms a subwatershed with the watershed. Significant rain (around 80 mm in the North Augusta area) over the past week pushed the 30-day rainfall totals to what is above normal for this time of the year. Stream flows on the Rideau and major tributaries are close to normal. However, Kemptville Creek’s flow is still below normal for this time of the year.
Residents and businesses are still encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 10 percent.
Please visit their website to review a full copy of the RVCA’s Watershed Conditions Statement.
Posted August 6, 2020
DROUGHT CONDITIONS WORSEN ACROSS SNC JURISDICTION
July 23, 2020
With a continued lack of adequate rainfall across the South Nation Conservation (SNC) jurisdiction, the drought advisory notice has been upgraded to Level II (moderate) across the entire watershed.
The limited rainfall received in July has been sporadic and not enough to improve stream flows. Evaporation could become a significant concern. SNC’s Water Response Team members have reported reduced crop yields and heat stress in livestock which was compounded by the recent heat wave. Should the drought conditions worsen, shallow wells may go dry.
Residents, businesses, and other industries can help by reducing their water consumption by 20% and limiting non-essential uses (e.g. lawn watering, car washing, etc.).
Visit their website to read the full drought advisory notice.
Posted July 27, 2020
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Media Release
July 20, 2020
Health Unit Urges Well Owners to Test Their Water and Conserve Water During Low Water Conditions
With many of our conservation authorities declaring low water conditions across Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties, the Health Unit would like to inform well owners of risks to their well water supply. As water levels in the water table drop, some wells may draw contaminants from further away into your drinking water supply. In addition, soil may compact and pull away from well casings making them vulnerable to runoff when it does rain. In times of drought, well owners may notice changes in their water supply including quality and quantity.
All private well owners are urged to sample their wells to ensure the bacteriological quality of their water has not changed. Water testing bottles are available at any of our Health Unit offices as well as other sites within the tri-county area including many municipal offices. Filled bottles can be returned to any Health Unit office or designated drop off site – check our Well Water Sampling page for locations. Testing is free. Should your sample results indicate poor bacteriological quality, boil the water at a rolling boil for one minute and then cool and store safely for use. While disinfection of contaminated wells is often recommended; during low water conditions this process (which requires flushing) may result in your well running dry. Call the Health Unit to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure – 1-800-660-5853.
It can take a considerable amount of time for wells to recover from persistent lack of precipitation. Well owners are encouraged to conserve water before wells start to be problematic, and to consider alternate safe sources of water available in the event that there is a shortage of water from the well.
Ways in which you can reduce your water usage are:
- Flush toilets only when necessary as toilets can account for 24% of typical use in a home
- Take shorter showers as showers account for 20% of typical use in a home
- Fix leaks, dripping faucets and running toilets as these can account for 12–19% of water usage
- Ensure when washing clothes your load is full as this can account for 17% of water usage
- Don’t water lawns, wash cars, driveways, etc.
- Use water collected in your dehumidifier to water plants, etc.
- Avoid use of your dishwasher or ensure it is full before use
(Information provided by the CRCA source: Water Research Foundation)
Should your well stop providing water, do not pour surface water into your well as this can contaminate the water supply with bacteria, parasites and possibly chemical contaminants that can be difficult to remove. Removing your well cap to check water levels frequently, or lowering measuring devices into your well is not recommended as it can lead to contamination.
For more information on what you can do to protect your well water supply and to check the status of drought conditions in your watershed please check the following links to our partner agencies:
- Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
- Conservation Authorities: Cataraqui Conservation Authority
- Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority
- Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
- South Nation Conservation Authority
Posted July 20, 2020
“Moderate” Low Water Conditions Persist in Rideau Valley Watershed
Watershed Conditions Statement from the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
July 15, 2020 – This statement is to advise that the low water status in the Rideau River watershed, including the Kemptville Creek subwatershed, continues to be at MODERATE severity under the Ontario Low Water Responses Program.
Although varying amounts of rain fell across the watershed last weekend, the watershed has still received very little rainfall over the past three months. The recent hot weather has also increased evaporation rates. Looking ahead, the seven-day weather forecast suggests we may receive over 20 mm of rain.
Stream flow values for all waterways are well below normal for this time of year. Measured flows for the smaller tributaries such as Kemptville Creek are at or below 3 percent of normal for this time of year. Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions are poor and declining.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA) indicate numerous concerns including loss of crop yields and increase in wells being drilled to supply water for livestock.
Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent and are strongly encouraged to limit non-essential water usage such as lawn watering. This is especially important for residents of Augusta Township since all residences are on private wells. Running your well dry may affect not only you but your neighbours. Full or partial burn bans are in effect throughout Leeds and Grenville.
Although there is some rain in the forecast, low water conditions are expected to intensify in the coming weeks. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.
Posted July 20, 2020
LEVEL II (MODERATE) LOW WATER CONDITIONS DECLARED FOR UPPER SOUTH NATION SUBWATERSHED
July 9, 2020
The South Nation Conservation (SNC) Water Response Team has upgraded the Level I (minor) low water conditions issued on June 29th to Level II (moderate) low water conditions for the Upper South Nation Subwatershed (which includes the lower 2/3rds of Augusta Township).
In the past two weeks, conditions within the Upper South Nation Subwatershed have worsened due to persistent hot and dry weather. Evaporation could become a significant concern if current conditions persist.
SNC’s Water Response Team, consisting of local representatives from provincial and municipal governments, agriculture, and other special interest groups, met on July 9th. Members reported observations of dried-up streams, reduced crop yields, and increased demand on municipal well water.
Residents, businesses, and other industries throughout the subwatershed can help by reducing their water consumption by 20% and limit non-essential uses. Burn bans are also in effect in most municipalities. Should low water conditions worsen, shallow wells may go dry.
Posted July 10, 2020
South Nation Conservation Declares Level I Low Water Condition
June 29, 2020
Due to a drier than usual spring, persistent hot temperatures, and lack of precipitation, South Nation Conservation (SNC) has declared a Level I Low Water Condition for its watershed in Eastern Ontario. A Level I indicates that there is the potential of a water supply problem should current precipitation and stream flow trends persist.
While in Level I status, SNC asks residents and businesses to reduce their water consumption by 10% to help mitigate the impacts of low water conditions. Water consumption can be reduced by limiting non-essential uses such as watering your lawn or washing your car.
SNC works with its 16 member municipalities to monitor stream flow, precipitation and water supply through the provincially mandated Low Water Response Program. SNC will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide updates as required.
Posted June 30, 2020
The low water status in the Rideau River watershed is now at MODERATE or Level 2 severity under the Ontario Low Water Responses Program. The watershed has received very little rainfall over the past three months.
Measured flows for the smaller tributaries such as the Jock River and Kemptville Creek are near 5 percent of normal for this time of year. Field observations around the watershed indicate that ecological conditions are poor with many fragmented streams and numerous reports of algae and/or weed growth.
Water conservation is encouraged for all watershed residents and businesses, particularly those on private, communal or municipal wells. While Augusta Township has not implemented a watering ban, the Fire Department is restricting open burning to small supervised campfires between 6 PM and 2 AM.
Conditions are expected to decline further with limited rain in the forecast. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.
Posted June 26, 2020
Due to below average rainfall in April and May, condition in the Rideau Valley Watershed (including the Kemptville Creek watershed which occupies the northern 1/3rd of Augusta Township) now meet the threshold for Minor Low Water or Level 1 status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.
Kemptville Creek flows are currently at less than 30% of normal.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve water during dry conditions.
Updates on this message will be issued at conditions warrant.
Posted June 19, 2020