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Level 1 drought status issued for Mississippi River Watershed

Rainfall amounts, the municipality says, have been extremely low since April.

A Level 1 Minor Drought status has been issued for the Mississippi Valley watershed as dry weather persists in and around Ottawa and the valley.

The status was issued Wednesday by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, saying the present conditions in the river watershed are now at threshold for the Level 1 status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program.

“As the dry weather continues in the Mississippi and Carp River watersheds, drought conditions are expected to extend into the summer months as flows and levels continue to decline,” the municipality said in a statement.

Rainfall amounts have been “extremely low” since April, the statement continued, with below average precipitation forecasted for June and July.

The MVCA is requesting all water users that are not in the City of Ottawa’s municipal distribution network to reduce their water consumption by 10 per cent to mitigate the impacts of the low water conditions.

Those who have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are asked to reduce their actual taking as much as possible.

Residents are also urged to use water conservatively by using rain barrels to water lawns and gardens and avoid using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences.

This message will be in effect until (or updated before) July 16.

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