‘CUT WATER USE BY 20%’
North Glengarry residents are being asked to reduce water use by 20 per cent since much of Eastern Ontario continues to be in a “Level 2” drought.
A level 2 situation refers to “a potentially serious problem.” However, if dry conditions persist, the status may deteriorate to “Level 3,” when water supplies fail to meet demand.
“Water levels are really low this year,” noted Natasha Machado, who along with other South Nation Conservation representatives reiterated the need for conservation at the last North Glengarry council meeting.
“The agricultural community is the hardest hit and needs water,” said SNC environmental technologist Jason Symington.
He added wells that rely on rainwater are feeling the effects of inadequate precipitation.
“The levels of the water systems are at the lowest they have been in many years,” the township noted in a public notice.
“It is imperative” that the municipality and its residents do their utmost to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in water consumption, North Glengarry states.
Municipal CAO Daniel Gagnon added the Raisin Region Conservation Authority, which manages water levels in the Garry River Watershed (Loch Garry, Middle Lake and Mill Pond), shares the same concerns as the South Nation agency.
“They are both telling us the same thing: It’s very dry out there,” said Mr. Gagnon.
The CAO added Mill Pond water levels are adequate because the RRCA manages the dams to ensure the township has enough water in Mill Pond, the town’s drinking water source. ”The water intake in Mill Pond is fine but upstream Loch Garry and Middle Lake water levels are down. So whatever we can conserve by not wasting water for less critical things, like washing cars or filling pools, the better overall,” stressed Mr. Gagnon.
Maxville Ward Coun. Carma Williams said she wouldn’t be surprised if people’s wells are “particularly stressed right now.” Maxville residents have a combination of drilled and dug wells. “They have lived with wells here for as long as they have been here so they know how to handle drought conditions, which is to reduce and conserve water as much as you can.”
Some people also have water shipped in to supplement their supply. Ms. Williams said she hasn’t received any reports of dug wells running dry but believes that people are in “pretty heavy conservation mode, because dug wells in particular are susceptible to going dry in these kinds of drought conditions. Drilled wells tend to be more stable.”
“This is just added evidence to the need
for Maxville to have municipal water,” she said. “When you have a large-scale drought it puts added pressures on wells. If we had municipal water it wouldn’t be a concern.”
North Glengarry has taken its own steps to reduce consumption, including use for flower watering, water main flushing and construction activities.
Here are some ways citizens can save water. Shut off the water while brushing your teeth. Reduce your normal showering time by 20 per cent. Reduce irrigation. Repair leaky sinks and toilets. Maximize the capacity of your laundry machine.
When hand-washing dishes, do not run the taps. Fill a basin to wash them in. are already being relocated. She is asking the public to contact her or Frances Fraser if anyone sees books being removed from the branch. “Residents are asked to watch for cars at the library in the off-hours,” she said.
Save the SDG Library Branches and Friends of the Dalkeith Library supporters are still planning to speak at Stormont- Dundas- Glengarry counties council August 22 to once again express their frustration about the closures.
To mark the branch’s demise, a gathering will be held at the Dalkeith location, August 27, at 10:30 a.m. Ms. Noble noted the community room portion of the building is not rented by the SDG Library so it will be available for the group.
North Glengarry Deputy Mayor Jamie MacDonald, who is also SDG Warden, opposed the closures that were approve in a 4-3 vote July 29. Ms. Noble knows that three people from the Library Board -- Barbara Lehtiniemi, who resigned as vice-chair following the vote for closures, South Glengarry Deputy Mayor Frank Prevost, and Mr. MacDonald, support the branches. She still hopes that combined with North Glengarry council’s support, “They can do something for us.”
“I know that every politician needs an opus,” she added. “If this is Jamie’s, all the power to him.”
Ms. Gagnon and her husband Cal Martin, who created the Save Our SDG Library Branches Facebook Page, visited South Stormont council August 10, with about 50 community members attending, and received support from council. “The Library Board and staff are not acting in good faith, even though there is a large contingent of people who are not happy with this process,” added Ms. Gagnon.
Dalkeith Historical Society president Frances Fraser is making a “public plea” to the SDG County Library to leave local history books in Dalkeith. She would like to move them to Robertson Clark Building for preservation. Ms. Fraser also hopes Dalkeith can keep the two computers currently in the library for WiFi access.
She added since Canada will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2017, Dalkeith would appreciate keeping its own history books for residents and people visiting the area to learn about local history.