Lower Thames Watershed – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) is encouraging watershed residents to conserve water as Lower Thames River watershed experiences low-water conditions based on data collected to the end of June.
Under the Provincial Low Water Response Program, a region is considered to be in a Level 1 Low Water Condition if over the last 3 months it has received less than 80% of its average rainfall. A Level 2 Low Water Condition exits if there has been less than 60% of its average rainfall. There is also a similar 18 month criterion. “Between last October and April, the Lower Thames watershed had been in a Low Water Level 1 Condition,” said Jason Wintermute, the LTVCA’s Water Management Specialist. “Rainfall in March was good which brought us out of the Low Water Condition, although April through June was quite dry.”
Three month rainfall indicators throughout the watershed indicate Level 1 Conditions or in some areas Level 2 Conditions. The program also checks for flows in the region’s watercourses and a Level 1 is declared if flows drop below 70% of what we’d usually see during the summer dry months. Level 2 is declared if it drops below 50%. June ended with streamflows in the range of a Level 1 Condition and at one point during the month even dropping into the Level 2 range. “If conditions don’t improve, we may be declaring a Level 2 condition next month”, says Wintermute.
Local water users are being requested to voluntarily reduce their water takings from the region’s watercourses by 10%. Users of shallow water wells should be watching their well levels and conserve accordingly. Conservation measures could include letting grass go dormant and skipping the washing of cars. Save any rain in a rain barrel or buckets to use on gardens. Area residents are asked to keep an eye on the trees in their yards, especially newly planted ones, as they may not survive without watering.
For further information please contact
Jason Homewood – LTVCA Water Resources and Regulations Technician
(519) 354-7310 ext.225