Still not en­ough rain for Eas­tern On­ta­rio

Le Reflet (The News) - - COLLECTIVITÉ • COMMUNITY - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

Still not en­ough rain for the sum­mer in Eas­tern On­ta­rio. That has for­ced the re­gio­nal conser­va­tion of­fice to de­clare a drought condi­tion alert for two areas in the South Na­tion Ri­ver wa­ter­shed re­gion.

The South Na­tion Conser­va­tion Au­tho­ri­ty (SNC) has clas­sed two sub-wa­ter­shed areas of the South Na­tion Ri­ver wa­ter­shed as now un­der le­vel III (se­vere) drought condi­tions. The change in clas­si­fi­ca­tion be­came of­fi­cial on Aug. 31.

The areas in­vol­ved are the Bear­brook Creek and Up­per South Na­tion Ri­ver sub­wa­ter­sheds. Both were part of the le­vel II drought condi­tions clas­si­fi­ca­tion lis­ting of the SNC on Ju­ly 8. But stream­flow in both sub-wa­ter­sheds have de­cli­ned fur­ther since then and are now at 30 per cent of their nor­mal sum­mer­time flow.

“More water res­tric­tions we’re re­com­men­ding,” said Go­lam Sha­rif, SNC water re­sources tech­ni­cian, re­gar­ding the im­pact of a le­vel III drought condi­tion.

The Bear­brook sub-wa­ter­shed in­cludes parts of Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land, in­clu­ding the vil­lages of Bour­get, Che­ney, and Ham­mond, and ex­tends west­wards in­to the Ci­ty of Ot­ta­wa’s eas­tern ru­ral sec­tor, in­clu­ding the vil­lages of Na­van, Sars­field, and Carls­bad Springs. A part of the sub-wa­ter­shed ex­tends south in­to Rus­sell Town­ship and The Na­tion Mu­ni­ci­plai­ty and in­cludes the Vil­lage of Li­moges. The Up­per South Na­tion sub-wa­ter­shed co­vers parts of North and South Dun­das town­ships in Dun­das Coun­ty, and in­cludes the vil­lages of Spen­cer­ville, Moun­tain, South Moun­tain, and In­ker­ville.

The rest of the South Na­tion wa­ter­shed re­mains at le­vel II drought condi­tions with stream flows for creeks and other water courses at 50 per cent of their nor­mal sum­mer flows. Go­lam no­ted that if a si­gni­fi­cant amount of rain­fall does oc­cur be­fore the start of fall, then other sub-wa­ter­sheds could be down­gra­ded to le­vel III sta­tus.

Low water le­vels im­pact fish ha­bi­tats, may af­fect some crop yields, and in­ter­fere with the present and fu­ture health of new­ly­plan­ted tree seed­lings. SNC conti­nues to urge re­si­dents throu­ghout the wa­ter­shed to ac­cept vo­lun­ta­ry li­mi­ta­tions on their water use, to avoid dra­wing too much water, both sur­face and un­der­ground, from the South Na­tion wa­ter­shed sources. Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties may im­pose man­da­to­ry water res­tric­tions if they deem it ne­ces­sa­ry. Re­si­dents are ad­vi­sed to call their lo­cal mu­ni­ci­pal of­fice for in­for­ma­tion on any water use res­tric­tions.

En­vi­ron­ment Ca­na­da wea­ther fo­re­casts for the re­gion do not pre­dict any “si­gni­fi­cant amounts” of rain­fall du­ring the last days of sum­mer and in­di­cate that from Sep­tem­ber to Oc­to­ber, the Eas­tern On­ta­rio re­gion may ex­pe­rience above-nor­mal tem­pe­ra­tures along with just the nor­mal amount of rain­fall for the per­iod. For now, re­si­dents are ur­ged to avoid any un­ne­ces­sa­ry use of water and try to cut their water use in half. That in­cludes un­ne­ces­sa­ry wa­shing of cars or trucks or ho­sing down out­side win­dows of home and bu­si­nesses. Limit wa­te­ring lawns and gar­dens to ei­ther the ear­ly mor­ning or the late eve­ning per­iods, when the ground is able to ab­sorb al­most all the water, and then limit wa­te­ring to an hour at most. Do not run sprink­lers du­ring the middle of the day, es­pe­cial­ly on sun­ny days, as much of the water will eva­po­rate first be­fore it can be ab­sor­bed.

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