Kingston – The Cataraqui Region Water Response Team has decided that conditions over the last few months warrant a move from a Moderate drought condition to a Minor drought condition. Precipitation since the end of 2016 has been very close to average, with a little more rainfall than usual at this time of year. The additional rainfall, as opposed to snowfall, has resulted in groundwater levels rising to close to normal, and stream flows rising to close to normal, for this time of year.
Current forecasts are suggesting normal conditions for the rest of the winter and into the spring, which should result in continued normal conditions for the spring season.
The warmer temperatures through the early winter were beneficial to recovering drought conditions, as more precipitation was able to infiltrate into the ground and replenish the groundwater, as well as raise stream flows and lake levels to close to normal conditions for this time of year. Most of eastern Ontario has experienced similar conditions, and the local Water Response Teams have all made similar moves to upgrade their drought declarations over the last month.
Low water conditions are determined by the Cataraqui Region Water Response Team convened by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. Membership includes water managers, major water users, public health, agriculture, school boards, marina operators, golf courses, government agencies, dam operators and others.
The Water Response Team recommends water conservation across the jurisdiction, for all water users, residential and commercial, especially those areas that are supplied by a ground water well or shore well. The team is asking residents and businesses of the region to be wary of water usage, and try to conserve water anywhere they can; this includes the outside watering of plants and lawns, and washing driveways, sidewalks, cars, etc. Permit to Take Water holders are also encouraged to reduce water takings during this exceptionally dry time. Those residents relying on wells and shore wells should be concerned that, as the drought continues, their water supply may run dry, and should plan for what to do when their primary source of water runs dry.
In order that we can track impacts of the drought conditions in the watershed, we request that any individuals or businesses in the Cataraqui Region who may have experienced difficulties with their wells (groundwater and shore), or saw other signs of watershed stress due to the dry conditions, please contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-546-4228 or 1-877-956-CRCA(2722), ext. 241, or fill in the survey on our website www.crca.ca/drought.