The Upper Thames River watershed is experiencing Level 1 Low Water conditions, according to the Upper Thames River Low Water Response Team. Level 1 Low Water is part of a three-tiered advisory system used in Ontario to inform the public of local low water conditions.
Mark Helsten, Senior Water Resources Engineer with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) said, “We evaluate low water conditions by looking at several indicators, including precipitation over the past three months and stream flows over the past month.”
The watershed received an average of 38 millimeters of rain in June, which is just over 40 per cent of the long term normal for the month. Precipitation over the past three months (April – June) averaged 129 mm across the watershed, which is less than 50 per cent of normal.
“Stream flows in June were low, but not yet low enough to cross the Level 1 threshold,” said Helsten. “The three-month precipitation statistics are enough to move the watershed into Level 1 Low Water Condition.”
UTRCA communications specialist Eleanor Heagy said, “We encourage people to conserve water as much as possible. Keep young trees watered, but let your grass go dormant and skip the carwash. If we do get any rain, save it in a rain barrel or buckets, to use in your garden.”