The overall watershed 30 day rainfall is at 72% of normal for the time of year. The 30 day rain measured at Kemptville College is at 42%. Rainfall is slightly higher in the headwater areas of Kemptville Creek but most appears to have infiltrated into the ground, rather than into the Creek, with flows just 1.3% of normal. Aquatic species will be increasingly stressed as available pools shrink, temperatures rise and oxygen concentrations decline.
An obvious indicator of drought stress are trees with leaves changing colour earlier than usual.
The Rideau Canal reservoir lake levels are as little as 2 centimetres (Wolfe Lake) to 19 cm (Upper Rideau) below levels normally reached at this time of year. Navigation in the north flowing sector is not presently at risk. Further information is available on the Parks Canada Infonet (address below).
Water conservation is recommended for all residents of the Rideau River watershed. Burn bans may still be in effect in some municipalities. Check your municipal website for applicable bylaws. Those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible.
Conservation Authority staff continue to monitor conditions and communicate with water managers throughout the watershed. Updates to this message will be issued as conditions warrant.
Other relevant information sources are:
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change: https://www.ontario.ca/page/managing-your-water-well-times-water-shortage
Ontario’s Low Water Response program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/low-water-response-program
RVCA website: www.rvca.ca
Hourly and daily streamflows and water levels: https://www.rvca.ca/watershed-monitoring-reporting/reporting/streamflow-water-levels
Patrick Larson, RVCA Senior Water Resources Technician
Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
613-692-6831, 1-800-267-3504 ext. 1210