CRCA Water Response Team Downgrades to Moderate Drought Condition

Published on: 2016/11/15 - in Releases

Kingston, Ontario — The Water Response Team (WRT) of the Cataraqui Region this week decided that conditions warranted a downgrade in the drought condition from Severe to Moderate. With the rain in mid-October, stream flows and groundwater levels have risen, and have stayed at a reasonable level since then.

“A Severe drought condition represents the water supply not meeting demand, and with the October rainfall, many of the wells that were dry across the Cataraqui Region have come back (partially or fully), meaning that supply can typically be met again, and that warrants a move to a Moderate declaration.” said Sean Watt, Water Resources Engineer.

While stream flows are still well below normal for this time of year, they are not at unprecedented levels, as they were over the summer.

The rainfall in November has so far been limited, but as long as there is continued regular rainfall, levels should be maintained. However, if there is a prolonged lack of precipitation, we may fall back into a Severe drought condition. The WRT will continue to monitor conditions, and re-consider the drought level as warranted.

Adjacent Conservation Authorities are still typically experiencing worse drought conditions than the Cataraqui Region, as they received less rainfall in October.

There is a concern for wells that remain dry into the cold weather, as they may not recover until the spring. We would appreciate hearing any details about your wells, whether still dry, recovered, etc., at the contact information below.

The Water Response Team continues to recommend water conservation across the CRCA, and eastern Ontario, given the continuing dryer than normal conditions, and the potential for dry conditions to continue through the fall months. The most recent long-term forecast is for the warm dry weather to continue into winter, with the expectation for “normal” winter conditions.

Low water conditions are determined by the Cataraqui Region Water Response Team convened by the CRCA. 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.

The CRCA WRT declared a Minor drought condition on May 26th, upgraded that condition to Moderate on July 5th, and upgraded to a Severe drought condition on August 10th.

There are numerous water conservation web links on their website at its Resources for Wise Water Use page. The CRCA will continue to monitor conditions, and will provide updates as conditions change.

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 be experiencing difficulties with their wells (groundwater and shore), or are seeing 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

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