Current Low Water Status: Level I Low Water Condition
August 2, 2022
Conservation Halton advises that a Level I Low Water Condition has been issued for our jurisdiction resulting from extended dry conditions with below average rainfall over the previous three months.
Conservation Halton assesses precipitation and streamflow conditions at selected long term monitoring stations located across our jurisdiction over 30 and 90-day periods to determine low water status.
Between May and July, our watershed received below 80 percent of the normal precipitation for this time of year. Drier conditions are expected to continue through August according to recent weather forecasts. Most of our streamflow stations are currently below the lowest recorded summer monthly average streamflow and are also expected to remain below average as the dry weather persists.
Under the Level I Low Water Condition, water users in the Conservation Halton watershed are asked to voluntarily conserve water with the aim of reducing overall consumption by 10 percent. The Low Water Condition is based on criteria set by the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF). Water users that rely on municipal sources are reminded to follow any water conservation measures as prescribed by Halton Region or their local municipality. Additional information can be found on the following Halton Region website.
Low water conditions are especially important for surface water takers and shallow well users. For residents experiencing problems with their shallow wells, information is available through the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) website.
Under the Ontario Low Water Response Program, residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve water by voluntarily reducing non-essential uses, both at home and at work, to help achieve a 10 percent reduction in overall water use.
Conservation Halton offers the following water conservation tips to help reduce water usage:
- Adhere to regional/municipal watering restrictions that may apply.
- Reduce non-essential water use.
- Make use of water storage (e.g., use rain barrels to water gardens).
- Withdraw water more slowly over a longer period of time (e.g., reduce pumping rate and time of day).
- Schedule surface water withdrawals with neighboring water takers.
Conservation Halton will continue to monitor rainfall and streamflow conditions to determine if further water restrictions will be necessary throughout the summer months. Updates will be provided as required.
This Level I Low Water Condition will remain in effect until further notice.
Conservation Halton Low Water Terminology
Conservation Halton, in partnership with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, assists in the co-ordination and support of local response in the event of a drought. We monitor local water level and precipitation closely and work with local water users to reduce demand and mitigate effects of water shortages, encouraging voluntary water conservation measures. Consisting of representatives from the Province, Municipalities, Conservation Authorities, local water users and interest groups, a Water Response Team is coordinated by Conservation Halton in its watershed.
Normal: Conditions are within normal limits.
Level I Low Water Condition: This level is primarily a warning based on early indication of potential water supply problems. As a result, the focus is on voluntary conservation of water.
Level II Low Water Condition: This level indicates a potentially serious problem. As a result, the conservation of water is extended to restrictions on non-essential uses.
Level III Low Water Condition: This level indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand. As a result, the focus is on conservation, regulation and enforcement of non-essential uses.
Essential Uses consist of water uses which deal with human life and health; a reasonable supply of water for drinking and sanitation, health care and public institutions (wastewater treatment, fire protection, schools and power generation) as well as water required for basic ecological functions
Important Uses consist of uses important for social and economic well being and would include activities critical to industry, commercial operations and agriculture
Non Essential Uses consist of uses which can be interrupted for a short period without significant impact and would include private swimming pools, lawn watering, public and private fountains and vehicle washing
- MNRF Low Water Response Guidelines
- OMAFRA Low Water Management
- Canadian Drought monitor
- North American Drought Monitor