Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Low water advisory removed

Water Response Team removes Level 1 Low Water Advisory for Bayfield River watershed 

Streamflow is recovering to seasonal levels with return of wet weather 

The Water Response Team (WRT) has removed the Level 1 Low Water Advisory for the Bayfield River watershed. Watershed conditions have seen a continued improvement with the arrival of a wet weather pattern in the second half of October. Using the Low Water Response precipitation indicators, all indicator stations showed near-normal monthly conditions. Through the first week in November, an additional 40-50 millimetres (mm) of rainfall has been recorded across the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed. 

The ABCA’s network of monitoring stations shows that streamflow has rebounded significantly over the past few weeks, with baseflow now showing signs of a longer-term recovery. “Baseflow in streams and rivers is a good indicator of watershed conditions,” said Davin Heinbuck, ABCA Water Resources Coordinator. “As ground conditions become saturated, and the water table rises, we begin to see improvements in baseflow.” 

The Chair of the Water Response Team, Doug Cook, thanked both the industries and individuals who voluntarily reduced their water usage in response to the dry weather observed through the summer. “During dry periods, conservation of water is an important measure in preventing further declines in water supplies and ensuring everyone has access to water at the most critical times, especially during a low-water condition,” Cook said. “Everyone has helped to play an important role in preserving our water supply.”

The Water Response Team was formed in 2001 in response to the low water and drought conditions that year and the team has been active ever since. The WRT includes representatives of major water users (such as aggregate industries; agriculture and vegetable growers; and golf and recreation) and includes local municipal representatives and staff of provincial ministries (such as Natural Resources and Forestry; Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; and Environment, Conservation and Parks). ABCA staff will continue to monitor precipitation and streamflow data and keep the public informed of any changes in watershed conditions through the winter months. 

Visit www.ontario.ca/lowwater for further resources on the Ontario low water response program or the website at abca.ca for the dynamic low-water advisory tool which alerts people to low-water advisories in effect in the watershed.

 
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