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Recent rainfall not enough – burn ban still in effect

While some areas in the Quinte Conservation watershed received a significant amount of rain over the past week, it hasn’t been enough to lift the area out of a Level 3 Low Water Condition. The burn ban in the County is still in effect.

“Over the last five days Belleville received the most rainfall in the watershed with approximately 70 millimetres, or 3 inches, of rain,” said Christine McClure, Quinte Conservation’s Water Resources Manager. “Northern areas received much less rain – only about 25 millimetres, or one inch. The upper Napanee watershed and some areas in Prince Edward County received about 50 millimetres, or two inches, of rain. We need significant sustained rainfall over several days in the northern parts of the watershed in order to replenish our rivers and streams.”

Quinte Conservation confirms low water conditions using two criteria – precipitation and stream flow. In order to move out of the Level 3 Low Water Condition the Quinte Conservation watersheds need to receive a great deal more slow, steady rain to make up for the deficit experienced earlier in the year. Significant rainfall is required to see the flows increase in rivers and streams.

“Our rivers and streams did see an increase in levels and flows because of the rain,” McClure said. “Most have already peaked and are back in decline. We expect to see the Moira River flows south of Tweed decrease over the next few days.”

McClure said groundwater levels were helped somewhat by the recent rain but are still quite low for the season.

“People on private wells will need to be careful with their water use and monitor their wells in case they should go dry.”

Quinte Conservation is continuing to ask residents and businesses to reduce their water use by 50 per cent 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 use water wisely and apply water conservation measures. Information on water conservation can be found on the Quinte Conservation website at

Quinte Conservation will be meeting with the Low Water Response Team in the first week of September to go over current conditions. A Level 3 Low Water Condition was declared by Quinte Conservation and the Low Water Response Team due to lack of rainfall and low flows in local rivers and streams on August 4. The Quinte Conservation watersheds have been experiencing low water conditions since the beginning of June.

A Level 3 Low Water Condition indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand. Restrictions on water use may be imposed by municipalities or under the provincial Water Resources Act. 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.

The environmental organization is encouraging any individuals or businesses in the Quinte watersheds who experience problems or hardships, such as wells going dry, to contact Quinte Conservation by calling 613-968-3434 or 613-354-3312 and dialing extension 129. Reports can also be emailed to These reports will help the organization track the impacts of the Low Water Condition.

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 and ensure the pump is protected in case the well should run dry.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. hockeynan says:

    A car was is a business and it would not be fair to close them down.they pay business tax

  2. Michael says:

    Janet; You can’t stop people from watering their lawns since home owners pay by consumption. Nothing has formally been sent out to advise homeowners to stop watering lawns and flowers. Car washes do not reduce the amount of drinking water for the residents in Picton

    You already asked on “Precedent-setting rural water restrictions” who to call to turning in your unsuspecting neighbours for watered their lawns and you were laughed off that page.
    Give it a rest.

  3. Janet says:

    What do we do if people are still watering their lawns? And can we get the municipalities to make it so car washing places can be stopped during this drought? Like really can we take drinking water a priority over washing our cars

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