Kingston – Despite rain received across the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) watersheds over the last few weeks and an isolated rain event in the Kingston and Gananoque area yesterday, a Level I drought condition remains in place for the region.
For the month of July, the region received 91% of normal precipitation which helped conditions. However, following temporary increased stream flows, levels have again declined to below normal for this time of year. CRCA watersheds have seen 75% of normal precipitation over the last three months. Only regular rainfall over the next weeks and months will alleviate the drought conditions.
The CRCA Water Response Team met yesterday, Aug. 15, to discuss current conditions, and agreed that remaining at a Level I drought condition was appropriate for the time being and will continue to monitor conditions. The Water Response Team continues to recommend water conservation across the region, especially for those drawing water from streams, inland lakes and wells. Municipalities may invoke water use bylaws and residents should confirm what bylaws are in effect in their municipalities regarding water use as well as outdoor fires.
A Level I drought condition is the first of three levels and reflects a potential water supply problem if current precipitation and stream flow trends persist. Level II ‘Moderate’ suggests a potentially serious problem where a Level III ‘Severe’ indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand.
If water well supplies become low or dry, well owners are encouraged to refer to this Ontario Government Website: Managing your well in times of drought: https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortageand are advised to not illegally fill the well with water.
To help CRCA staff track the spread and seriousness of low water impacts on the region, we are asking for help from the public in collecting this information. If Cataraqui Region residents have a low water concern, please let us know by filling in this quick online form found on our website: https://crca.ca/watershed-management/watershed-information/low-water/.
The CRCA will continue to monitor conditions and will provide updates as conditions change.