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Low water warning from SNC

The recent thunderstorms may have shaken things up a bit, and messed with satellite T.V. reception during everyone’s favourite programs, but they haven’t made much difference in the water levels for the SouthNation andOttawa Rivers and other streams. The SouthNation Conservation Authority (SNC) has had a Level 2 moderate drought condition alert for the South Nation River watershed region since early July. Sandra Mancini, SNC water resources technician, reported that the situation has not changed. “We’re still at Level 2,”Mancini said during a July 27 phone interview. A Level 2 rating means that drought conditions for the watershed region are moderate for this time of the year when compared to what is normal, based on the average of past years. A Level 1 rating means minor drought conditions while Level 3 is extreme. The SNC website noted that EnvironmentCanadaclimatestationslocated in Cornwall, Ottawa, and Brockville all show that the total amount of rainfall for Eastern Ontario, for the past threemonths, has been 60 per cent of what is normal for the region during the summer season. “We need a little bit more,” explained Mancini, adding that a 20 per cent increase in the amount of rain, compared to what has fallen so far, would help reduce drought conditions for the watershed back to Level 1 or better. SNC staff has receivedmore than a dozen reports of wells in thewatershed region either going dry or working at low-pressure. Some callers have asked staff about whether there should be any concern about bacteria or algae growth in the wells as a result of the drought condition. Some longtime residents have remarked to SNC staff that they never sawwater levels as low as they were in June. Mancini noted that the prolonged dry weather has not proven a threat to stream habitats yet, though some SNC staff and local landowners have noted “scattered pools” where the receding water in some creeks has left behind isolated water-filled depressions in the stream bed. The SNCWater Response Teamhas toured around the region, and also answered inquiriesfromfarmersabouttheimpactofthe drier weather on local crop yields.The recent storms may have reduced concerns that newly-planted seedlings and wild vegetation

The water level in the South Nation River and its tributaries is a bit lower than usual for this time of the year, in spite of the recent thunderstorms booming around the region. The South Nation Conservation Authority has declared a Level 2 situation for water levels throughout the watershed and is urging residents and businesses to practise water conservation and avoidwasting any water. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

might suffer from the drier weather. Meanwhile the SNC urges residents, businesses and industries in communities within the SouthNationwatershed, to reduce their water use by 20 per cent through active water conservationmeasures. Check with municipal offices about local water conservation rules for homes. Homeowners are urged to avoid car washing and to limit watering lawns and gardens to about an hour either in the early morning or the early evening. Evening watering will give the ground a good chance to absorb all the water during the night. Watering during themiddle of the day will see most of the water wasted through evaporation. For further updates on drought and water level conditions, go online to www.nation.


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