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Low water condition issued for Prince Edward County and region

A Level 1 Low Water Condition has been issued for the Quinte Conservation watershed including Prince Edward County and the regions of the Moira, Napanee, and Salmon Rivers.

“The Quinte region has experienced much lower than normal amounts of precipitation this spring,” said Dave Eastcott, Water Resources Technologist. “Less than 30 per cent of normal rainfall occurred during the month of May, with less than 10 per cent of that happening in the second half of the month.”

He notes current stream flows for the region are very low, with levels approaching those normally seen in late summer or early fall. The long range forecast is predicting hot, dry weather with no significant rainfall.

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 2 suggests a potentially serious water supply issue, and a Level 3 is the most severe condition and indicates a possible failure to meet water supply demands.

Water supplies drawn from groundwater systems, and inland lakes and streams may be sensitive and vulnerable. Residents who draw from these supplies may start to experience issues with water availability and should take extra precaution with their non-essential use until groundwater levels have recharged.

Quinte Conservation reminds residents with vulnerable water supplies and those that take bulk water from these areas to voluntarily reduce non-essential water use by 10 per cent.

Municipalities that source water from Lake Ontario or the Bay of Quinte have access to a more sustainable water supply. The delivery of water to residents on these systems is not impacted by current conditions. This conditions statement is not directed to residents accessing these municipal water supplies.

Quinte Conservation encourages residents experiencing low water to report their conditions using an online form on the main page of the Quinte Conservation website.

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  1. CountyProud says:

    TEENA I understand your point. I guess I was thinking not so much from an enforcement standpoint but rather “educational”. Many STA owners leave information packages for their guests (things to do in the County, maps, rules of the house/rental etc) and I wondered if an educational piece around rural wells and septic systems might become a required piece of education. (hopefully to positively influence behaviour.

    Having lived near two side-by-side STAs I can assure you, when the water runs out, the questions of the neighbours start and most of the guests are surprised by how a well works (yes, many are from a city where it magically just comes out of a tap for ever).

    Just thought a little education couldn’t hurt.

  2. Teena says:

    Dee and CountyProud … This will only work if the owners of these STA’s live in The County, preferably on the same property, in order to monitor their “guests”.

  3. CountyProud says:

    I have long suggested that STA owners in rural areas relying on wells should have a legal responsibility to inform their guests about water usage so as not to impact neighbouring wells. There is only so much to go around and clearly this year is heading for another drought. The same should hold true when it comes to informing guests on what can and cannot go into a septic system.

  4. Dee says:

    As a precaution for rural areas, STA owners should post warnings about water supply and educate renters of methods of conservation when staying in rural accommodations. Excess draw by large groups can have a detrimental impact on aquifers and on local wells. Our visitors could unknowingly impact our water levels without some education by the landlord. People living in urban areas would not be familiar with the water issues of rural residents. Good neighbours make for good relations. Perhaps the municipality should make it part of the requirements of licencing.

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