As dry conditions continue across southern Ontario, officials are requesting that those living in the GTA use less water.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, (TRCA), has entered a Level 1 Low Water Level Condition, and is asking individuals and businesses in the GTA to voluntarily apply water conservation measures wherever possible.
Despite a number of isolated showers over the last week, the GTA region is still facing a significant precipitation deficit. Since the beginning of May, Pearson International Airport has recorded approximately 75 mm of rainfall. This is nearly 60 per cent below the normal amount of precipitation for this time of year.
Fortunately, deep groundwater systems have helped to mitigate the effects of this drought, however many creeks and rivers are starting to fall below normal levels for this time of year.
To help preserve our surface water and groundwater resources—and the ecosystems that rely on them—T RCA is asking all water users in York, Peel, and Durham municipalities to reduce indoor and outdoor water use by 10 per cent. This includes municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farms for irrigation, and private users.
The most effective thing residents can do right now is to follow their municipal outdoor water use bylaws, which limit watering to specific days and times.
Don Ford, a senior manager at TRCA, said that he wants to emphasize this is not a watering ban, it is a request for voluntary water reduction. The data the TRCA has collected is showing that our watersheds are under distress.
Ford said, “Our water resources are not infinite and we need to manage them wisely. When there isn’t as much rainfall we must cut back. If we all use less water across our watersheds, hopefully we will give these water sheds a chance to recover. We can’t make it rain, so all we can do is to reduce what we are taking.”
For more information on the Ontario Low Water Response Program, click here.