Low Water Response Program
In response to drought conditions experienced in recent years, the Ontario provincial government developed the Ontario Low Water Response Program. Its goal is to ensure coordination and preparedness between the province and local governments in response to drought events.
Drought conditions are classified into three levels, using precipitation and streamflow as indicators. Each level indicates a greater potential for water supply problems and therefore dictates a greater water management response from the provincial and local governments.
Level I is the first condition of a potential water supply problem.
Level II indicates a potentially serious water supply problem.
Level III indicates the water supply has already failed, or will fail, to meet the water demands.
Upon the issuance of a low water response, water response teams (WRT) are assembled, consisting of local water users and local and provincial water managers. The teams will coordinate local activities and assess watershed conditions, with a focus on communication and advocating water conservation.
The Hamilton Conservation Authority, in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources, will issue alerts and advice in the event a Low Water Response has been initiated.
The Hamilton Conservation Authority's watershed is currently in normal condition.
Ontario Low Water Response Plan
Historically, periods of dry weather and low water levels or drought have been relatively uncommon in Ontario (about every 10-15 years). However, recent studies on changing weather patterns indicate low water levels may become more common, potentially compounded by the province's steadily increasing demands for water.
During the spring and summer of 1999, southwestern and eastern Ontario experienced an extended period of low rainfall and high temperatures. These weather conditions resulted in some of the lowest surface water levels and driest soils recorded for several decades. In order to ensure the province is prepared for low water conditions in the future, a response plan was developed. This plan, The Ontario Low Water Response, is intended to help co-ordinate and support local response in the event of a drought.
This information is from the Ministry of Natural Resources' website. Please visit their site for more information about low water conditions.
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