Otonabee Conservation urges Peterborough-area residents to reduce water consumption by 20%

Otonabee Conservation is asking area residents to reduce water consumption by 20 per cent. Jessica Nyznik/Global News Peterborough

Otonabee Conservation has declared a Level 2 low water condition for the Peterborough region, which includes reducing water consumption by 20 per cent.

The conservation authority issued the condition on Wednesday morning, citing air temperatures that were well above normal and rainfall that was well below normal. The authority says the preceding one- and three-month periods ending June 30 are below 60 per cent of the normal total in the Otonabee, Indian and Ouse river watersheds.

Read more: Ontario farmers ‘concerned’ as crops continue to die amid drought — ‘It’s bad’

June saw three weeks with minimal rainfall (less than 7.6 millimetres in a week), which is another indicator of a Level 2 drought, the conservation authority says.

“High temperatures have also contributed to this Level 2 low water declaration, as June was six per cent hotter than normal and included four days when the daytime high reached 30 C,” said Gordon Earle, water resources technologist.

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“During the first week of July, we saw daytime air temperatures that reached 30 degrees Celsius on six out of seven days. More sizzling, hot days are expected to come, especially during the first half of the month.”

As a result, the conservation authority is asking area residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 per cent.

Visit the authority’s website for suggestions on how to help reduce water consumption.

The current Level 2 low water condition will remain in effect until at least early August.

Otonabee Conservation’s jurisdiction includes Peterborough, sections of the City of Kawartha Lakes, the municipality of Trent Hills and the townships of Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Cavan Monaghan.

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