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Reduce water use by 50 per cent as Quinte Conservation declares severe water condition

level-3-waterQuinte Conservation and the Low Water Response Team have declared a Level 3 Low Water Condition due to lack of rainfall and low flows in local rivers and streams. Level 3 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. Quinte Conservation will be asking its 18-member municipalities to recommend residents and businesses reduce water use by 50 per cent.

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.

“Reducing water use by half means that residents will have to take a hard look at how they are using their water,” said McClure. “Many local people have already stopped watering their lawns in an effort to conserve water. Other large uses of water in the average home are toilets, showers, and laundry. Drinking water and food preparation only make up about five per cent of the water used in an average home.”

“We have received approximately 35 per cent of average rainfall across the watershed in July,” said Christine McClure, Quinte Conservation’s water resources manager. “This means that some lake and river levels are visibly lower than they would normally be for this time of year. We need a significant amount of rain to change that.”

The Water Response Team met Thursday morning and declared the Level 3 condition.

“We confirm low water conditions using two criteria – precipitation and stream flow. Both criteria are very low for this time of year and lower than we usually see at the end of summer or early fall. Some of our rivers are experiencing the lowest flows we have ever recorded for July,” McClure said.

Long range forecasts indicate that the hot, dry weather will continue into the fall.

People on private wells should be especially careful of their water usage. Well owners should take steps to protect their well pump. A licensed contractor can be hired to check water levels and make sure the pump is working and protected against running dry.

Water levels are becoming dangerously low on the Skootamatta, Black, Salmon, and Napanee Rivers. This has prompted Quinte Conservation to operate dams in order to increase flows downstream.

“We are attempting to maintain a minimal flow in the rivers to support local ecosystems. These dams have been identified as low flow augmentation structures and are being operated according to their individual operation plans. Residents above the dams we are operating will notice a decline in their water levels.”

The following dams were recently operated:
Lingham Lake Dam
Deerock Lake Dam
Upper Arden Dam
Laraby Rapids Dam
Second Depot Lake Dam
Third Depot Lake Dam
Thirteen Island Lake Dam
Operations may be conducted at Skootamatta Lake Dam if conditions warrant.

Quinte Conservation has stopped generating hydroelectric power at the McLeod Dam due to low flows in the Moira River. Extremely dry conditions in the Salmon River means that the seasonal weir at Kingsford Conservation Area was not installed.

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.

Quinte Conservation issued the first low water warning this year on June 2. The local Water Response Team (WRT) for all of Prince Edward County and the watersheds of the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers includes representation from municipalities, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, and local industry. The WRT is formed when the watershed is in a Level 1 condition. Water Response Teams monitor local conditions carefully and work with local water users to reduce demand and mitigate the effects of water shortages.

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  1. james bondy says:

    Just to add a comment about Wynne’s need to constantly increase taxes, as of September 2016 this will be the fourth consecutive year that the vehicle licence tax will be increased – up to $120 per year.

    If you can afford to have money tied up in a licence fee, then consider renewing your vehicle licence for two years at $108, saving $12 from the second year at $120, though some people are having trouble scraping together the licence fee for just one year.

    Of course if people were thinking “green”, they would take public transit in P.E. County, in this country that really is not dependant on having vehicular transport; oh, wait a minute … 🙂 that public vehicle money probably just got spent on another bicycle lane for Bloor Street.

    Maybe we should just quit complaining and go along with the urban vote which gave the Liberals a majority in the last election. How refreshing is that thought!!

  2. Chuck says:

    Covering Amherst Island now with something like 26 Wind Machines will really continue to devastate our environment. Madness, and people are buying into this climate change fix! If they only realized the carbon footprint these wind machines leave behind.

  3. Susan says:

    If there is money in it, Wynne will sniff it out. Yes, we could have a carbon tax to keep the coffers from drying up. Doesn’t matter that China builds coal plants.

  4. ADJ says:

    I’d like to jump in here Dennis and not jump on you because I do see your point. However as a country, citizens can do everything possible under the sun sort of speak to alleviate the global warming problem then we have China and all or most of Eastern Europe and Asia completely ignoring the cause. Am I wrong in my thinking? Their population being at least 10x ours, what our we accomplishing? I “feel” good everytime I fill my Blue Box but I know elsewhere in the world this stuff is being burned and buried.

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    To Sue and Fred – I thought you two sounded familiar and checked back to another news item – The Grass Fire Caused by a Guy Burning a Stump. After reading your comments there and comparing them to what you are saying now – well I think you two just like to argue. Fred really does recognize that global warming is a problem and that our drought is serious, and according to him, it will extend into the fall. He refers our local climate as being in a crisis. In that same article Susan expresses concerns over her neighbours without water, crop failure and expresses concern that our council hasn’t gotten involved in this issue. Obviously on a much bigger scale, I was criticized for claiming the solution for global warming would need to be a political one! Sorry Fred and Sue, you two have taken more of my time than needed – good luck on your quest to argue about anything and everything, you even contradict yourself to continue the argument!

  6. Susan says:

    I am always suspect that when all else fails to press their beliefs on others they play the “grand children” card.

  7. Fred says:

    Thanks Susan. I tend to ignore persons such as Dennis that preach doom and gloom and offer no solution. They tie themselves to a government that likes to regulate the public to no end and jump on every new wave to find a way to tax us more. We are far from free.

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    Thanks Amber for your comments! I tend to ignore people like this Fred guy – they offer nothing for a solution, only complaints and accusations. He is totally wrong about my politics – but he is right about the fact that I am determined to do my part by ensuring there is a planet for my grandchildren to inherit – even if it does cost me a few bucks more. Money that I too cannot really afford – but what is the choice? Doing nothing is not an option.

  9. Fred says:

    They have you Dennis. Enjoy Wynne’s new carbon tax that will save the world! Lol. Some families cannot afford to live now but if they can find or invent a way to dig more money out of the poor Joe, they will do it. It’s a scam.

  10. Administrator says:

    FYI: Wednesday 6-7:30 p.m. at Wellington arena, tell MP Neil Ellis what federal government should do about climate change, the environment

  11. Dennis Fox says:

    Fred – please read what I have written. At no time did I refer to any individual as an ostrich – that reference was made in relation to any COUNTRY who denied that climate change existed – fortunately none have made that claim- which supports my position of its reality. Also, at no time did I demean any individual because they disagreed with me. Instead, I did say that I become impatient with those who do not read to find out what the facts are and then they go on to develop opinions based on nothing. I think you would agree that such a person could be accurately described as being closed minded – an opinion that I come to when despite the great amount of scientific evidence from around the world, some people still cling onto something totally meaningless as their proof that is doesn’t exist. Unknowingly, they become the oil industry’s best friend.

  12. Amber says:

    Dennis, I would like to thank you for your concern regarding global warming. I am unsure as to why you have received so much criticism regarding this. Alas, ignorance truly is bliss. The “cyclical” impact is something that we’re already seeing. As for the others, I challenge you to find recent scholarly articles wherein the conclusion is that global warming is “a fad”. You may choose to ignore what is happening. However, I refuse to.

  13. Gary says:

    Everytime a guy can throw a leak in the backyard saves flushing the toilet and helps the drought situation!

  14. Susan says:

    Our life, the Sun which is now on the downside of it’s life is the grand master for life on earth. As much as humans like to control, we will never ever be able to control the demise of our Sun. Many on Earth foolishly believe that they are the masters of all. So foolish.

  15. Fred says:

    Dennis; calling people close minded and ostriches because they disagree with your belief of climate change is demeaning. There are varying views on this and all should be respected. The changes in our Sun as pointed out is an important consideration.

  16. Paul Cole says:

    I suppose your more then likely right Fred its sad to see the Farmers work so hard only to be frustrated by the lack of rain.. Hopefully something changes soon so they can salvage something….

  17. Sue Munro says:

    The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) needs to take a serious look at their issuance of Permits to Take Water that allow businesses such as quarry operators to pump millions of litres of water in the spring and sometimes again in the fall to expedite their operations by drying up the floors. ALL Permits to take water need to be reassessed in light of the dry years. From notes this is the third in 5 years – 2011,2012 and 2016.

  18. Dennis Fox says:

    Emily – if you had read my last comment, you would realize that I did not want to argue about climate change – which was the direction this conversation was going. I decided that I had enough and said thanks for the conversation, but I’m finished with it – which BTW I have every right to do. At no time did I demean anyone. However, I do get impatient with those who have an opinion based on nothing, other than their own closed mind.

  19. Fred says:

    It takes a lot of rain and snow to replenish a water table so severely damaged. It could take 2 or 3 years of average rain and snow to repair this.

  20. Paul Cole says:

    A steady week long sprinkle would likely help Farmers best it would allow the rain to saturate the ground rather then a hard down pour that would very likely just run off and puddle in low lying areas.. However a 50cm 4 hour long snow storm would cool things off nicely and allow the water to soak into the soil C’MON SNOW STORM 😉

  21. Fred says:

    Yesterday they called a 70 percent likelihood of heavy rain. Nothing! But one heavy downpour now means nothing. Damage is done, even the trees are dying or extremely stressed.

  22. Chuck says:

    Agreed Paul. Everyone needs to do their part, municipal supplied folks as well. Situation is critical.

  23. Paul Cole says:

    Either way climate change or no climate change its a wee bit dry out there so reducing water usage by 50% can’t hurt.. RIGHT ??

  24. Emily says:

    I like how you argue your position even further, demean those that disagree and cut off discussion. Is that like having the last word?

  25. Dennis Fox says:

    It was never my desire to get into a debate over the existence of climate change. The facts for years have greatly supported that it is happening in a manner like never before. Those doubters who cling onto the opinions of one meteorologist, or boil it all down to a cliché such as – the climate is cyclical and has always changed, indicates a closed mind to change. The several world conferences on climate change, that have in fact taken place, may have had numerous opinions on how to react to it – but NO country refused to accept the idea that it existed. If they had, the rest of the world would have laughed at them for being ostriches and very out of touch ones at that. I’m done with this topic for now. Thanks for the discussion.

  26. Gary says:

    Dennis, it would be well worth your time to hear highly respected Rochester meteoroligist Kevin William’s take on climate change. Weather patterns are constantly changing, always have and always will.

  27. Chuck says:

    You need to listen and learn as well. You stated that a political fix was needed. I provided you some listening and learning material. I tell you once again that climate is cyclical. Also beware as there is a lot of money to be made by those preaching doom and gloom. Our own provincial government is now on the take with a well thought out money grab disguised as carbon tax.

  28. Dennis Fox says:

    My goodness where have some of you people been. It is not my point of view that the ultimate solution to protect the world from global warming has to be a political one – what do you think these world conferences on climate change have been about? Discussion on climate change is also not “the new hip thing to be into” – it has been at the top of the list of concerns for Canadians for at least the past 20 years! Tellya what, if you can at least be wiling to listen and to learn, then get out of the way for the sake of the younger generations who want to protect pour planet for a better future.

  29. Chuck says:

    Climate change seems to be the new hip thing to be into. Climate change is not new, the climate has been changing since the beginning of the planet Earth. I am sure in 1941 there were a few screaming climate change. The climate is cyclical and we are presently going through a warm and hot period. This will change and we will see extreme cold as well. Dennis says politics will have to solve it or “we are done”! Imagine politics fixing the climate! Don’t eat that Harold! We will be done however in several million years as the sun which is about half way through it’s life cycle goes into it’s change and dying cycle. At a point the heat and radiation from the sun will be so great that life as we know it will be impossible. That is climate change.

  30. Dennis Fox says:

    Sue3 – I don’t believe that you have thought through your comment. My comments had nothing to do with any particular individual nor political party – they have to due with the extreme climate being experience world wide – not just here in Ontario or in the County. You need to broaden your knowledge and to get away from your myopic view of this problem.

  31. Dave says:

    We draw our water from Lake Ontario and the lake is not really down as other areas around the lake are getting rain. If you look at the weather map you will see this area and the Niagara Peninsula are the only two drought areas.

  32. Sue3 says:

    Oh Dennis, c’mon….
    You really believe that if we give Wynne more money to line the pockets of her rich Liberal cohorts we’ll never have another drought????

  33. Dennis Fox says:

    I too hear that this is the worst drought since 1941 – but for another person too suggest that Trump has any credibility and then to ask why bring politics into the discussion of climate/drought – well they just haven’t been reading or listening very closely for the past twenty years. Don’t take my word for it – read or listen to scientists who have studied and photographed the disappearing ice fields in the Arctic. Then look around here in the County and how many people are without water – there is a connection. Like it or not, politics will eventually have to solve this problem world wide, or we are done.

  34. Mark says:

    Worst drought here since 1941.

  35. Chuck says:

    I don’t know why you brought politics into the drought, but 13,000,000 persons voted for Donald J Trump as their nominee. They are tired of leaders such as we have in Ontario and her 300 Billion debt. Get ready to pay Ontario’s new carbon tax while China builds 100 new coal plants. We can debate climate change and it’s cyclical aspects later.

  36. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t get it – I talked to a farmer today ( a nice man, but totally out of if as far as I can tell.) Knowing that he is a produce farmer, I asked how he was making out during this long period of heat and no rain. Not good he said, but I’m not worried because I remember it was as bad as this back in 1961. He is about the same age as me – meaning he was 12 or 13 years old – I thought, so what the hell did he know back then? Then he goes on to tell me that he has crop insurance, he believes that global warming is all made up by those “lefties”(meaning me) – and he supports Donald Trump and would vote for him if he could. I didn’t know that such people still existed – he made me feel sorry that I even asked as to how he was making out. Oh well, onward and upward! But I sure hope that it rains soon – a lot of rain, tons of rain – I might even find my bathing suit and run in it, like i did in 1961! Now wouldn’t that be a sight?

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