With continued lack of adequate rainfall across the South Nation Conservation (SNC) jurisdiction, the SNC Water Response Team has upgraded the drought advisory notice from Level I (minor) to Level II (moderate) low water conditions for the entire watershed effective July 23, 2020.

Since issuing a Level II Low Water Condition Notice on July 9, 2020, for the Upper South Nation Region, SNC has seen conditions deteriorate in the remaining sub-watersheds due to persistent hot and dry weather. Little rainfall received in July has been sporadic and not enough to improve stream flows. These conditions have caused flows in rivers and streams to continue declining. Evaporation could become a significant concern if current conditions persist.

SNC’s Water Response Team met on July 23, 2020 and members reported reduced crop
yields and heat stress in livestock which was compounded with the recent heat wave. Some municipalities reported continued increases on municipal water demand over recent weeks.

Should the drought conditions worsen, shallow wells may go dry. Prolonged drought conditions can also affect tree health and newly planted seedlings.

Residents, businesses, and other industries can help by reducing their water consumption by 20% and limit non-essential uses (e.g. lawn watering, car washing, etc.). Landowners should be aware of their municipality’s water conservation and fire By-laws.

SNC’s Water Response Team, created under the Ontario Low Water Response program, consists of representatives from provincial and municipal governments, agriculture, and special interest groups. SNC will continue to monitor watershed conditions and will provide updates as required.

Landowners are encouraged to contact SNC if they are experiencing any problems with their
wells and can complete an online survey on SNC’s website to report observed low water impacts.