Low water conditions declared for Kettle Creek
For Immediate Release
St. Thomas – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority’s Low Water Response Team has declared Level 1 Low Water Conditions throughout the watershed.
“Lack of rainfall and hot temperatures have created low flow conditions throughout the Kettle Creek watershed,” says Jennifer Dow, KCCA’s water conservation supervisor. “In the last three months, the watershed has received only about 60% of its normal precipitation.”
According to criteria set out in the Ontario Low Water Response Protocol, a level one condition is reached when creek flow falls below 70% of the historical lowest average summer month flow and when the three-month total precipitation amount drops below 80% of the historical average. Precipitation data collected from rain gauges located throughout the watershed recorded an average of 155.73mm which is 66% of the historical average of 234.5mm for the three-month period of April, May and June. Current rain data collected for the month of July indicate only 57% of the historical monthly average has fallen across the watershed.
“At this point we are asking people to voluntarily reduce water usage by 10%,” says Dow. “We need to keep in mind that if there is not a significant amount of rainfall in the next couple of weeks, conditions will worsen.” A recent tour of the upper reaches of the watershed confirmed several creeks and drains were already dry. “Clearly, local creeks and streams are being negatively affected by the lack of precipitation. We could definitely use several days of steady rain.”
Watering lawns twice weekly in the evening instead of every day and cutting back on car washes may help residents reduce their water consumption.
KCCA’s Low Water Response Team is comprised of water users such as farmers and golf course owners, as well as representatives of municipalities and the provincial agricultural, environmental and natural resources ministries.
Unlike other communities, the majority of residents in the Kettle Creek watershed receive water from the Lake Erie pipeline and do not consume groundwater directly. In addition, there are only 14 permits to take water directly from Kettle Creek for agricultural and golf course irrigation purposes. Therefore, restricting water consumption alone will not fix the problem.
“Decreased flows in Kettle Creek may not affect the amount of water available for human use but it does affect water available to ensure healthy aquatic life,” says Dow.
Low Water Frequently Asked QuestionsDownload
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For more information:
Water Conservation Supervisor