Rainfall has been in short supply over the Quinte region throughout the spring and into the summer. Quinte Conservation Water Resources Manager Christine McClure says, “We have received approximately 50% of average rainfall across the watershed over the past three months. This means that some lake and river levels are visibly lower than they would normally be for this time of year. Flows in the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers continue to be extremely low and we need a significant amount of rain to change that.”
Quinte Conservation declared a Level 1 Low Water Condition for the Quinte watersheds on June 2.
McClure explains, “We confirm low water conditions using two criteria – precipitation and stream flow. Both criteria are low for this time of year and more typically seen at the end of summer or early fall. We are predicting that we will soon be in a Level 2 Low Water Condition and will be meeting with our Low Water Response Team to go over current conditions and weather forecasts.”
Quinte Conservation is the lead for the local Water Response Team (WRT) for all of Prince Edward County and the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers. The team includes representation from municipalities, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and local industry. The WRT is formed when the watershed is in a Level 1 condition. Water Response Teams monitor local conditions carefully and work with local water users to reduce demand and mitigate the effects of water shortages.
With the potential for a dry summer Quinte Conservation says it’s time now to start thinking about conserving water. The environmental organization is asking residents and businesses of the region to reduce water usage by 20 per cent until the supply is replenished. People on private wells should be especially careful of their water usage. Non-essential water use includes the outside watering of plants and lawns, and washing driveways and sidewalks. Tips for water conservation can be found on
A Level 1 Low Water Condition means the potential for water supply problems has been identified. A Level 1 condition is managed through existing programs of the Conservation
Authorities, municipalities and other key provincial agencies. Low water conditions are ranked as Level 1, 2 or 3 based on a prolonged period of low flows or precipitation. A Level 1 is the least severe and Level 3 is the most severe.
Quinte Conservation reminds the public that fires are not allowed at local conservation areas and a fire ban is in effect for Depot Lakes Conservation Area and Campground.