The Otonabee conservation authority is asking residents in its eight-member municipalities — including Peterborough — to reduce their water consumption by 10 per cent.
This comes after the authority issued a Level 1 low-water condition for its entire watershed on Wednesday, due to lower-than-normal rain levels logged over the last three months. The area encompasses Peterborough, along with the surrounding townships of Douro-Dummer, Selwyn, North Kawartha, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, Otonabee-South Monaghan, Asphodel-Norwood and Cavan Monaghan.
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“The lack of precipitation during the summer months has caused stream flows to decline,” said Gordon Earle, water resources technologist. “The average flow of Jackson Creek during the month of August was 30 per cent of the historical average flow.”
Four out of the five conservation monitoring stations reported a decline in precipitation by more than 20 percent in the watershed, with the last monitoring station reporting precipitation levels below normal by 39 per cent.
In response, residents are asked to reduce their water consumption by doing the following:
- Run dishwasher and laundry during off-peak use times (between 7 p.m and 7 a.m)
- Water gardens wisely or use stored rainwater from a rain barrel
- Adhere to municipal watering restrictions that may apply
- Do not wash driveways, or wash cars in driveways. Use a broom or visit a car wash instead.
ORCA said the Level 1 low-water condition of 10 per cent will remain in effect until further notice.