Don’t just talk about the weather

The Glengarry News - - News - Watch kit

Have you ever wanted to help out in na­ture con­ser­va­tion, but were not sure how to go about it and you do not have a lot of time to spare?

South Na­tion Con­ser­va­tion just might have the right job for you. It’s easy, not par­tic­u­larly time con­sum­ing, and it’s re­ward­ing.

SNC has 20 free rain gauges to dis­trib­ute through­out its 4,384 square- kilo­me­tre ju­ris­dic­tion, and one of them could be yours to main­tain and col­lect pre­cip­i­ta­tion data.

“The more collection points across our ju­ris­dic­tion, the more ef­fec­tive our data will be,” said Naomi Lan­glois-An­der­son, SNC Se­nior Fish and Wildlife Tech­ni­cian.

“We are look­ing for ded­i­cated vol­un­teers to help im­prove our flood and drought fore­cast­ing and warn­ing sys­tems.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Naomi Lan­glois-An­der­son, SNC, 877-984-2948, ext. 25,. nlan­gloisander­son@na­tion.on.ca

The sim­ple clear plas­tic gauges help in on­go­ing analy­ses of wa­ter­shed con­di­tions and in fore- casting both flood and drought events along the South Na­tion River and its trib­u­taries.

To sup­ple­ment rain­fall data gath­ered by SNC staff, a landowner vol­un­teer net­work called “Weather Watch Rain­fall Recorders” was cre­ated about a decade ago. SNC is now af­fil­i­ated with CoCoRaHS Canada, the Com­mu­nity Col­lab­o­ra­tive Rain, Hail and Snow Net­work which links vol­un­teers who take daily pre­cip­i­ta­tion mea­sure­ments in their own yards.

The Weather in­cludes ba­sic in­struc­tions, the gauge, and mount­ing hard­ware. Var­i­ous CoCoRaHS train­ing op­tions and oc­ca­sional sem­i­nars are also avail­able.

It’s best to in­stall a gauge in an eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion, away from trees or build­ings that could in­flu­ence pre­cip­i­ta­tion pat­terns; it can be in­stalled on a fence but the open­ing must be at the top. Care must be taken to pre­vent freez­ing in­side the gauge, Ms. Lan­glois-An­der­son ex­plained.

Things have changed over ten years. Data is now up­loaded to a web­site where par­tic­i­pants can see in­for­ma­tion from other gauges across Canada, the U.S. and Ber­muda. There’s even a smart phone app that makes up­load­ing daily read­ings a speedy process.

Cur­rently, she said, sev­eral of SNC’s mu­nic­i­pal part­ners are host­ing a gauge which helps in the de­liv­ery of flood mod­el­ling and fore­cast­ing in­for­ma­tion.

“It fa­cil­i­tates flood ad­vi­sories and pos­si­ble road clo­sures. Mon­i­tor­ing also sig­nals when low pre­cip­i­ta­tion trig­gers wa­ter con­ser­va­tion mea­sures.”

Be­com­ing a Rain­fall Recorder is an easy way for res­i­dents to take a more ac­tive role in mon­i­tor­ing and man­ag­ing their own nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, Ms. Lan­gloisAn­der­son ob­served.

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