Low rainfall and hot temperatures in the summer can lead to low stream flows and low groundwater levels. When stream flows and groundwater levels get low enough, the lack of water can have an impact on the amount of water available for human, business and recreational use, and can be detrimental to the health of aquatic habitats.
When water levels get low, Low Water Response plans can be put into effect to provide guidance to help major water users reduce their water consumption. The Ontario government developed a Low Water Response Plan in 2000 to assist in coordination and to support local response during droughts.
In the Long Point Region watershed, Long Point Region Conservation Authority has organized Low Water Response Team Zones for the Big Otter Creek, Big Creek and Eastern Basin watersheds. The teams include representatives from municipalities, the agriculture sector, golf courses, various provincial ministries and LPRCA.
LPRCA and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry monitor precipitation, stream flow, groundwater levels and other factors in order to recognize and measure the severity of low water conditions.
The Water Response Teams (WRTs) meet as required throughout the year to review stream flow information and weather forecasts. Based on the information available, WRTs can decide to declare Level 1 and Level 2 conditions, or can recommend a Level 3 low water condition for part of, or the entire watershed. In Levels 1 and 2, water users are typically asked to cut consumption by 10 and 20 percent respectively. In Level 3, regulatory measures may be imposed in addition to further water conservation requests and watering restrictions. Find the latest low water status update on the Low Water Status & Messages page or through the visual indicator on the LPRCA website homepage.
In addition to the provincial Low Water Response Plan, several municipalities in the Long Point Region watershed have passed their own water-use bylaws which include restrictions on lawn watering, car washing and other outdoor water use. For more information on these water conservation measures view the additional low water resources.
Click on the stream flow graphs below to get the latest news on Long Point Region watershed water levels. Note: These graphs are based on preliminary data and are updated variably depending on the season and water conditions.