20% Water Conservation Urged As Low Water Condition Upgraded To Level 2

Rain drop image with globe - water conservation

Peterborough, ON (July 7, 2020) A Level 2 Low Water Condition is being declared by the Otonabee Region Water Response Team due to weather anomalies, including well-above normal air temperatures and well-below normal rainfall.

Otonabee Conservation analyzes the condition of the watershed on a monthly basis; low water status is determined based on the available data including temperature, precipitation, and surface water levels / flow.

A Level 2 Low Water Condition is being declared at this time as rainfall receipts for the preceding 1-month and 3-month periods ending June 30th are below 60% of the normal total in the Otonabee, Indian, and Ouse River watersheds. In addition, June saw three weeks with minimal rainfall (less than 7.6mm in a week), which is another indicator of a Level 2 drought.

“High temperatures have also contributed to this Level 2 Low Water declaration, as June was 6% hotter than normal and included four days when the daytime high reached 30 degrees Celsius (C),” Explains Gordon Earle, Water Resources Technologist at Otonabee Conservation, “During the first week of July, we saw daytime air temperatures that reached 30 degrees C on six out of seven days. More sizzling, hot days are expected to come, especially during the first half of the month.”

When a Level 2 Low Water Condition occurs, all water users are asked to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20%. This includes municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farm irrigation, and private users.

To reduce water use by 20%, Otonabee Conservation offers the following water conservation tips:

Turn off ornamental fountains and artificial waterfalls

  • Run full loads of dishes and laundry during off-peak use times (between 7pm and 7am) and use shorter washing cycles
  • Water gardens wisely, add mulch or use stored rainwater from a rain barrel
  • Lawns that have turned brown from the drought are not “dead”; the grass has just gone dormant from lack of water. When rainfall returns, the grass will come out of dormancy and perk back up
  • Adhere to municipal watering restrictions that may apply
  • Do not use water to clean sidewalks, driveways, patios, or decks; use a broom to sweep up
  • Do not wash your vehicles in the driveway; delay washing your vehicles as long as possible, and visit a carwash facility when you do need to wash vehicles
  • Cover swimming pools when not in use to reduce evaporation
  • Install an efficient faucet or aerator to reduce water demands for handwashing, rinsing fruits and vegetables, or washing dishes
  • Take shorter and less frequent showers to conserve water
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under a running tap. You can then use the water for houseplants or in your garden
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than running tap water until cold enough to drink.

For more ideas to conserve water, download the Water Conservation Fact Sheet from our website.

The Otonabee Region Water Response Team is made up of local water managers and users including municipalities, businesses / industry, the community, provincial and federal agencies, and Otonabee Conservation. The team will meet again in early August to review the current drought situation. The current Level 2 Low Water Condition, urging water conservation of 20%, will remain in effect until at least that time.

More information on the Low Water Response Program is available on the Otonabee Conservation website at www.otonabeeconservation.com.

For more information contact:
Dan Marinigh | CAO \ Secretary-Treasurer
Otonabee Conservation
dmarinigh@otonabeeconservation.com | 705-745-3238 x222