Low Level Water Conditions

In the past, periods of dry weather and drought in Ontario were relatively uncommon, usually occurring once every 10- 15 years. Recent studies on changing weather patterns are indicating that low water levels may become more common as the province’s demand for water steadily increases.

A low level water condition is declared when a potential for water supply problems is identified through a lack of rain and streamflow levels. These values are set out by the Province of Ontario in it's Low Water Response Program.

 

Current low level conditions

Watershed Map 2016(Click image to download - 432 KB)

How low water levels can affect you

All uses are affected by low water conditions including but not limited to the ones listed below.

  • Drinking water
  • Fire fighting
  • Watering crops
  • Livestock
  • Domestic uses
  • Business/Industrial
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Swimming

What you can do to help

Please follow the below guidelines to assist in controlling water use during low level water conditions.

  • Observe local watering restrictions applicable in your area
  • Where permitted, water your gardens in the morning or evening, and not in the heat of the day
  • Use a broom to clean your paved surfaces rather than water
  • Install toilet dams
  • Use rain barrels for needed water around the yard
  • Repair leaky faucets
  • Reduce non-essential water use (car washing, lawn watering)

Low water levels and water use restrictions

 Low water conditions range from Level I to Level III, representing progressively more severe water supply shortages and restrictions on water use.

Level One


Declared when a potential water supply issue is identified. By reducing your water use by a minimum of 10% at this critical time we may be able to avoid more serious shortages and lessen the impact of reduced water availability on our environment.

Level Two
 

Declared when a minor water supply issue is identified with a potential for a major water supply problem. By reducing your water use by a minimum of 20% at this critical time we may be able to avoid more serious shortages and lessen the impact of reduced water availability on our environment.

Level Three
 

The most severe low water level condition is declared when a the water supply no longer meets the demand and social, economic and environmental impacts to the watershed are occurring. When a level three warning is issued, restrictions from the Water Response Team approved by the Government of Ontario will be put into action.