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Drought Information


    Drought Impacts Map

For more information

  Issued April 19, 2017: Watershed Conditions Statement — Drought Condition Update: "Minor" Drought Status Rescinded

Watershed Conditions Statement
2017.01.19 Drought Condition Downgraded to Minor

Watershed Conditions Statement
15.12.2016 Drought Condition Downgraded to Moderate

Watershed Conditons Statement
5.10.2016 — Drought Condition Update: Erratic Rains Means "Severe" Drought Conditions Continues

Watershed Conditions Statement
Drought Condition Update: "Severe" Drought Condition Continued

Watershed Conditions Statement
6.09.2016 Drought Condition Update: Rideau Watershed Still in "Severe" Drought Condition

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.08.22 Drought ConditionUpdate: Despite Rain, "Severe" Drought Condition Status Continued

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.08.12 Drought Update: Continued Lack of Rain Causes "Severe" Drought Condition

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.08.03 Drought Update: Drought Conditons Contines at Moderate

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.06.30 Drought Conditions Continues at Moderate

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.06.23 Drought Expected to Become Moderately Sever

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.06.16 Drought Deepening Again

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.06.09 —Weekend Rainfall Improves Drought Status

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.06.03 — Drought Condition Deepens

Watershed Conditions Statement
2016.05.24 — Lack of Rain Brings Minor Drought Conditions


  RVCA Drought Conditions Poster (pdf)  

Drought Impacts?

Feeling the impact of a drought in the Rideau Valley? Any individuals or businesses experiencing problems due to low water are encouraged to contact the Water Response Team to help us track and understand local conditions.

Please email us (click here or on the button) - include name, address, phone number and your comments how the drought is impacting you. Please use the subject: Drought Impacts
Fresh water is a natural resource critical to the economic and environmental well being of all residents of the Rideau Valley. In the past, periods of dry weather and low water levels were relatively uncommon — happening every decade or so. But, with changing weather patterns, low water levels may occur more often, especially with the increasing demand for water.

Low water affects:
  • municipal sources
  • private wells
  • lakes, rivers, ponds and all the residents in those waters
  • agriculture — irrigation, watering livestock
  • fire fighting
  • business and industrial uses
  • recreation (boating, fishing, swimming)
  • personal use — drinking, washing, laundry, etc.

The Government of Ontario has set up the Ontario Low Water Response (OLWR), which ensures that the province is prepared for low water conditions in the future. The response plan is intended to help co-ordinate and support local response in the event of drought. The local teams are established in areas experiencing low water conditions so that the local community can carry out actions to reduce and better manage water use.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, measures precipitation, stream flow and water levels which indicate the severity of low water conditions in the watershed. The LWR Team decides on an appropriate response that may include the actions suggested in the Low Water Levels chart below.











Low Water/ Drought Indicators:

  • Minor: 80% to 60% of long term average precipitation for 540 day and/or 90 day precipitation totals and/or 7 day average streamflows less than the 5 year return period low flow. This category reflects cause for concern.

  • Moderate: 60% to 40% of long term average precipitation for 540, 90 and/or 30 day precipitation totals and/or 7 day average streamflows less than the 10 year return period low flow. This category suggests a potentially serious problem is pending.

  • Severe: less than 40% of long term average precipitation for 540, 90 and/or 30 day precipitation totals and/or 7 day average streamflows less than the 10 year return period low flow. This category indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand.
  Tips — How to Conserve Water
In the yard
  • Don't water lawns and gardens when a municipal water shortage warning is in effect.
  • If you must water, only water gardens and lawns once a week, no more than one inch in total, including rain.
  • Avoid watering on windy days.
  • Water your lawn and plants in the morning — evaporation occurs at a slower rate than if you watered in the hot sun.
  • Cut grass less frequently.
  • Cut grass higher it reduces evaporation and increases moisture.
  • Compost your food leftovers and leaves — add compost to lawns and gardens
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn, they help retain moisture.
  • Collect and use rainwater for your lawn and gardens — it's free and better for your plants than municipally supplied water or well water. Consider buying a rain barrel.
  • Fix that leaking hose and dripping nozzle.
  • Plant drought resistant plants — convert your lawns to low-care perennials.
  • Plant more trees around your house to reduce energy needs.
Your car
  • Don't wash your car when a municipal water shortage warning is in effect.
  • Use commercial car washes that recycle their water.
  • If you do wash your car, do it on the lawn. Use a bucket of soapy water and the bare minimum to rinse it off.
In the kitchen
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables by putting a little water in the sink or a bowl instead of running water.
  • When hand washing dishes, plug the drain and do them all at once.
  • Run the dishwasher with full loads only.
  • Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or the microwave, not under running water.
  • For cold water to drink, keep a jug in the fridge instead of running the tap.
In the bathroom
  • Install a low-flush toilet or install a toilet dam in your toilet tank to reduce water use.
  • Keep showers to five minutes or less.
  • Consider buying a water efficient showerhead.
  • If you must take a bath, fill the tub with only the amount of water really needed to clean yourself (1/4 full).
  • When cleaning your teeth, don’t keep the tap running, use a glass to rinse. Rinsing a toothbrush under a tap wastes about 4,000 litres of water a year.
  • Replace all leaky tap washers, they can waste more than 400 litres of water a day. Repair all leaks in pipes and toilets as well.
  • Rinse clothes in cold water, they come out as clean as those rinsed in warm water.
  • Washing in warm rather than hot water uses 50 per cent less energy. Or consider washing in cold water
  • Wash clothes only when you have a full load