Reduce water consumption by 20%, asks the GRCA

The Grand River Conservation Authority is urging people and businesses along the watershed to reduce their water use by 20%.

This week, the low water response team placed the entire watershed at level two. This means the authority is asking all water users – municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, irrigation farms and private users – to reduce the amount of water they use.

The last time a level two was declared for the entire watershed was in 2016.

« Conditions are incredibly dry for this time of year and while any rain helps, many of the weather systems we’ve seen this summer have been localized and are well below providing the amount of precipitation needed, » Stephanie said. Shifflett, GRCA water resources engineer. , said in a statement.

“Reducing water consumption helps ensure an adequate water supply for drinking water and wastewater treatment.”

The GRCA said recent rainfall had minimal impact on local waterways and total rainfall amounts were well below what was expected in July.

July 2021 saw 79.9 mm of precipitation, according to Environment Canada’s website. In 2016, the last time the catchment was upgraded to level two for water use, there was 77.8mm of rain, although 30mm fell in one day.

So far this month, the Region of Waterloo has received 8.9 mm of rain.

Reservoirs used to maintain the flow of rivers

The GRCA says it uses large reservoirs to maintain downstream flows and the reservoirs operate within a normal range, although flows have been increased to maintain river flows.

« The increased flow, combined with evaporation from persistent hot dry weather, will add further pressure to all GRCA reservoirs as water levels decline, » the authority said.

Over the past week, the authority said the reservoirs accounted for about 80% of the Grand River’s flow through Kitchener, 45% of the flow through Brantford and about 55% of the Speed ​​River’s flow through Guelph.

The GRCA says this helps municipalities that get some or all of their drinking water from the Grand River, including Waterloo Region, Brantford and Six Nations.

Water from these reservoirs also supports the smooth operation of approximately 30 wastewater treatment plants across the watershed.

There may be some rain over the weekend, but it remains to be seen how much that will help the dry conditions. According to Environment Canada, there is a 30% chance of showers on Friday and Saturday as well as a risk of thunderstorms. On Sunday, showers are forecast.


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