With one exception, all conservation authorities responsible for watersheds in the greater Kawarthas region have now declared a “Level 1” low water condition due largely to a lack of rainfall during May.
Declared when a watershed receives only 80 per cent or less of the normal amount of precipitation over a three-month period, a Level 1 low water condition is the lowest of three levels and an early indicator of potential water supply problems to come.
Lower Trent Conservation declared a Level 1 condition last Wednesday (June 2), with Kawartha Conservation following suit the following Monday and Otonabee Conversation and Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority declaring a Level 1 condition on Thursday (June 10).
Crowe Valley Conservation, whose watershed includes northern Peterborough County and portions of Haliburton County and northern Hastings County, has not yet declared a Level 1 condition.
During a Level 1 low water condition, everyone is asked to voluntarily reduce their non-essential water use by 10 per cent. This includes municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farm irrigation, as well as individual residents.
Tips for individual residents to reduce water usage include fixing leaky faucets and watering gardens sparingly, and avoiding washing cars in driveways and watering lawns.