Flood Status

Conservation Halton terminology for flood and water safety messages

When flooding is possible or about to occur, Conservation Halton issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials, school boards, police and EMS as well as the media. The municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.

The following is the flood and water safety message terminology being used by Conservation Halton.


Normal: Conditions are within normal limits. No flooding is expected.


Watershed Conditions Statement: A general notice of weather conditions that could pose a risk to personal safety or which have the potential to lead to flooding. There are two variations of these:

Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.


Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.


Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.

Conservation Halton’s role with regards to Natural Hazards:

Conservation Halton, like its fellow Conservation Authorities in Ontario, aims to safeguard human life and property while protecting the natural features of our watershed from natural hazars like flooding and erosion. It is responsible for flood prevention and flood protection within its watershed as part of its mandate, this pertains to surface flooding from creeks and riverines. Click here for more information on Conservation Halton’s role with regards to natural hazards. 

More about the flood and water safety terminology:

The current terminology was adopted by Conservation Halton, other Conservation Authorities across Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) in February, 2012. The change is to ensure flood messages are consistent and in line with severe weather terminology used by other agencies such as Environment Canada and the Weather Network.

The terms were developed by a committee of representatives of Conservation Authorities, Conservation Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and other agencies.

Monitoring weather and flood conditions is a shared responsibility of Conservation Authorities, OMNR, and Envrionment Canada. The OMNR Surface Water Monitoring Centre in Peterborough monitors weather forecasts and water levels across the province, providing the information to Conservation Authorities. Other information is also available from Environment Canada.

Conservation Halton also takes action to control water levels and reduce flooding through the operation of our four reservoirs in the Halton watershed.

Click here for more information on Conservation Halton’s Flood Protection and Warning Program

Click here for more information on Conservation Halton’s Dams and Channels.

Click here to visit Conservation Ontario’s Flood Portal with more flooding information and links.