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Quinte Conservation declares low water status, advises conservation

water-level-2Quinte Conservation is calling on area residents to conserve water and warns of possible shortages.

Tuesday, staff and members of their Low Water Response Team declared a Level 2 Low Water Condition in the local watersheds due to lack of rainfall and low flows in local rivers and streams.

“A Level 2 Low Water Condition indicates a potentially serious water supply problem,” said Christine McClure, Quinte Conservation Water Resources Manger. “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.

“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. The last extended period of low water in our area occurred in 2012.”

With the potential for the dry summer to continue, Quinte Conservation is calling on residents, businesses and municipalities to get serious about conserving water.

“The environmental organization is asking residents and businesses in the region to reduce non-essential water usage by 20 per cent until the supply is replenished. People on private wells should be especially careful of their water usage,” said McClure. “Non-essential water use includes the outside watering of plants and lawns, and washing driveways and sidewalks. Those with permits to take water are also urged to reduce their current usage by 20 per cent.”

McClure says the summer months see close to 50 per cent of water usage in the average home in the lawn and garden.

“Hand watering vegetable gardens in the morning and not watering the lawn can go a long way toward conserving water,” she noted. “A brown lawn in a hot dry summer does not mean the grass is dead – it’s only dormant. There is a small part of the plant, called the crown, that is still alive and after rainfall the grass will green up in one to two weeks.”

Quinte Conservation reminds the public that fires are not allowed at local conservation areas. Prince Edward County remains under a complete buring ban.

Those facing water problems – such as wells going dry, may call Quinte Conservation at 613-968-3434 or email to help staff track the low water conditions. Tips on water conservation can be found on the Quinte Conservation website at

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. mike bondy says:

    If Prince Edward County were serious about water conservation, they would reward rather than punish.

    When we conserved water at The County’s last request, their response was that they were now losing money due to lack of volume used. The “reward” was to raise sewage and potable water rates to increase revenue.

    Obviously the message is that conservation is not valued and we are fools to believe County statements. If we are to be saddled with greater rates, we might as well use whatever volumes will satisfy our gardens and lawns.

    mike bondy, Wellington

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