FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2016
The water situation in the Quinte Conservation watersheds has improved somewhat after some sporadic fall rains and recent snowfall. General Manager Terry Murphy says, “Streamflows have improved recently as have groundwater levels. However, this does not mean that our water supply situation is good. Conditions are still not back to normal for this time of year.”
The local environmental organization declared a Level 3 Low Water Condition for its area of jurisdiction on August 4 and it has remained that way until December 15 when conditions had improved slightly. Quinte Conservation officials now say their watersheds are in a Level 2 Low Water Condition.
Murphy adds, “The low water conditions we are still experiencing are unprecedented for this time of year. During our last low water situation in 2012 conditions had returned to normal by mid-October. There are some residents who still have wells that have not recovered. There is a concern for wells that remain dry as we move into the winter months, as they may not recover until the spring.”
A Level 2 Low Water Condition indicates a potentially serious water supply problem. This level often means minor water supply issues are encountered and there is the potential for major supply problems. A Level 2 condition is managed through 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 is continuing to ask residents and businesses to use water wisely until the water supply has been replenished. The local environmental agency will monitor precipitation and stream flows and provide updates. Quinte Conservation encourages everyone to apply water conservation measures. Information on water conservation can be found on the Quinte Conservation website at
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, First Nations, 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.