Quinte Conservation and the Low Water Response Team have declared a Level 2 Low Water Condition due to lack of rainfall and low flows throughout the Quinte Watershed.
Quinte Conservation Watershed Monitoring Coordinator Lynette Lambert says, “The long range forecasts do not show much rain and it looks as though the warm and dry conditions will continue into the fall.”
Many wells within the watershed have groundwater levels below normal for this time of year. Although some wells have not reached 2016 levels, others are at similar conditions to 2016. Typically groundwater levels decline into the fall.
Lambert adds, “Unless we receive a steady amount of rain over the next month or so, the low water conditions will remain.”
The Quinte watershed includes the Moira, Black, Skootamatta, Salmon, and Napanee Rivers, as well as all of Prince Edward County.
The environmental organization is asking residents and businesses in the region to reduce non-essential water usage by 20 per cent until the supply is replenished. People on private wells should be especially careful of their water usage. Non-essential water use includes the outside watering of plants and lawns, and washing driveways and sidewalks. Those with permits to take water are also urged to reduce their current usage by 20 per cent.
A Level 2 Low Water Condition indicates a potentially serious water supply problem. This level often means minor water supply issues are encountered and there is the potential for major supply problems. A Level 2 condition is managed through Conservation Authorities, municipalities and other key provincial agencies. Low water conditions are ranked as Level 1, 2 or 3 based on a prolonged period of low flows or precipitation. A Level 1 is the least severe and Level 3 is the most severe.
The environmental organization is encouraging any individuals or businesses in the Quinte watersheds who experience problems or hardships, such as wells going dry, to fill out a lowwater form available online at www.quinteconservation.ca.
Quinte Conservation is the lead for the local Water Response Team (WRT) for all of Prince Edward County and the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers. The team includes representation from municipalities, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and local industry. The WRT is formed when the watershed is in a Level 1 condition.
Water Response Teams monitor local conditions carefully and work with local water users to reduce demand and mitigate the effects of water shortages.
Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency. It serves 18 municipalities in the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers and Prince Edward County. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership. Quinte Conservation’s main goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at www.quinteconservation.ca.