GRCA Issues Watershed Conditions Statement: Water Safety

The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority advises that another low pressure system is moving into Southern Ontario today, bringing with it rain and temperatures as high as 10°C for today and tomorrow.

Previous runoff events have broken up much of the ice cover on streams and caused ice jams in some locations. These jams could release and form again downstream leading to localized flooding issues.

The snowpack has become depleted especially in the fields and lower parts of the watersheds near Lake Ontario. However, these areas are generally saturated and will not absorb much rainfall. Significant snowpacks remain in the forested headwaters, which will continue melting and producing runoff over the next few days as the storm passes through.

Light rainfall in the amount of 10 to 15 mm is expected to begin this afternoon and continue overnight. This amount of rainfall, combined with mild temperatures over the next 36 hours will produce snowmelt and runoff that will increase water levels and flows in all waterbodies.

Under these spring-like conditions, any remaining ice cover will be thin and unstable. Additionally, high flows combined with very cold water temperatures and slippery stream banks will create dangerous conditions around streams, ponds and ditches. Please warn children in your care of these hazards and avoid watercourses as much as possible.

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Saturday, March 16th, 2019. Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor watershed conditions and provide updates as necessary. Should you have any questions or wish to report flooding, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173.

Mike Smith
Flood Operations Officer                                                    

Note: A Watershed Condition Statement for Water Safety is issued as notice of the potential for high flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.