Low Water Status

Conservation Halton Issues a Level I Low Water Condition

Thursday June 17, 2021 @ 1:30 PM

Conservation Halton advises that a Level I Low Water Condition has been issued for our jurisdiction as a result of extended dry conditions with below average rainfall beginning in April, extending through the entire month of May and continuing into June.

Conservation Halton assesses precipitation and streamflow conditions at selected long term monitoring stations located across our jurisdiction over 30- and 90-day periods to determine low water status. Between March and May, our watershed received below 80% of the normal precipitation for this time of year. Drier conditions and minimal rainfall are expected to continue for the remainder of June according to recent weather forecasts. Most of our streamflow stations remain at, or above the lowest summer monthly average streamflow on record however flows will continue to decline as the dry weather persists.

Under the Level I Low Water Condition, water users in the Conservation Halton watershed are asked to voluntarily conserve water with the aim of reducing overall consumption by 10 percent. The Low Water Condition is based on criteria set by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF). Water users that rely on municipal sources are reminded to follow any water conservation measures as prescribed by Halton Region or their local municipality.

Low water conditions are especially important for surface water takers and shallow well users. For residents experiencing problems with their shallow wells, information is available through the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) website at:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortage#section-2

Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve water by voluntarily reducing non-essential uses, both at home and at work, to help achieve a 10% reduction in overall water use.

To reduce water use by 10%, Conservation Halton offers the following water conservation tips:
• Adhere to regional/municipal watering restrictions that may apply.
• Reduce non-essential water use.
• Make use of water storage (e.g., use rain barrels to water gardens).
• Withdraw water more slowly over a longer period of time (e.g., reduce pumping rate and time of day).
• Schedule surface water withdrawals with neighboring water takers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor rainfall and streamflow conditions to determine if further water restrictions will be necessary throughout the summer months. Updates will be provided as required.

This Level I Low Water Condition will remain in effect until further notice.

For further information or questions regarding this message contact:

Glenn Farmer
Manager, Flood Forecasting & Operations
(905) 336-1158 x2294
floodadmin@hrca.on.ca

Robin Ashton
Manager, Marketing Services
905-336-1158 x2248
rashton@hrca.on.ca

 

 

 

Low Water Conditions

Conservation Halton, in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, assists in the co-ordination and support of local response in the event of a drought. We monitor local water level and precipitation closely and work with local water users to reduce demand and mitigate effects of water shortages, encouraging voluntary water conservation measures. Consisting of representatives from the Province, Municipalities, Conservation Authorities, local water users and interest groups, a Water Response Team is coordinated by Conservation Halton in its watershed.

There are three levels of Low Water Conditions:

Normal Water Level Normal Conditions are within normal limits.
Low Level 1 Water Level Level I First indication of potential water supply problems, primarily a warning level - Key focus is on voluntary conservation of water
Low Level 2 Water Level Level II Indicates a potentially serious problem - conservation of water is extended to restrictions on non-essential uses
Low Level 3 Water Level Level III

Indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand - Key focus is on conservation, regulation and enforcement of non-essential uses

The Plan identifies three categories of water usage that would be used in ranking water usage allocation under Level 3 low water conditions as follows:

  • Essential Uses consist of water uses which deal with human life and health; a reasonable supply of water for drinking and sanitation, health care and public institutions (wastewater treatment, fire protection, schools and power generation) as well as water required for basic ecological functions
  • Important Uses consist of uses important for social and economic well being and would include activities critical to industry, commercial operations and agriculture
  • Non Essential Uses consist of uses which can be interrupted for a short period without significant impact and would include private swimming pools, lawn watering, public and private fountains and vehicle washing

Click here MNR & F Low Water Response Guidelines

Click here for OMAFRA page - Working together to Manage Low Water

Click here for Canadian Drought monitor

Click here for North American Drought monitor