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Not enough rain to help water flows – no relief in forecast

Recent rainfall had no impact on low water conditions.

“Over Sunday and Monday we received an average of five millimetres of rain across the watershed,” said Christine McClure, Quinte Conservation’s Water Resources Manager. “Belleville received the most with 10 millimetres, while areas like Tweed received only about one millimeter. This has done nothing to help the current low water situation. We need between 75 and 100 millimetres of slow, steady rain to make any difference. Rain that falls quickly in thunderstorms does little to help the groundwater as it runs off instead of soaking into the ground”

McClure said the long-range forecasts do not show much rain and it looks as though the hot and dry conditions will continue into the fall.

“This means we are at risk of moving into a Level 3 Low Water Condition unless we receive a steady amount of rain,” she said. “Quinte Conservation will be meeting with the Low Water Response Team to go over current conditions next week. The area has been experiencing low water conditions since the beginning of June.”

Residents, businesses and municipalities are reminded to reduce non-essential water usage – especially through lawn watering and the washing of sidewalks, decks, buildings or driveways.

Quinte Conservation encourages those who experience problems or hardships, such as wells going dry, to call 613-968-3434 or 613-354-3312 and dialing extension 130. Reports can also be emailed to These reports will help the organization track the impacts of the low water conditions.

“In the summer months close to 50 per cent of water usage in the average home happens in the lawn and garden,” said McClure. “Hand watering vegetable gardens in the early morning or evening and not watering the lawn can go a long way toward conserving water. Toilets and showers use the most water inside the home so any possible conservation in those areas will also be a help.”

Well owners should take steps to protect their well pump. A licensed contractor can be hired to check water levels, make sure the pump is working well and make sure the pump is protected against running dry.

More information about Quinte Conservation is available at

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