With several rain events in the second half of the summer, the watersheds in the Ganaraska Region have recovered to normal conditions. An early summer rainfall deficit led to the declaration of a Level 1 Low Water Condition on July 16th, however from that point on, rainfall has been more consistent with enough scattered thunderstorms to alleviate the dry conditions.
The lack of rainfall in May and June caused groundwater levels to drop quickly threatening supplies for those who rely on wells for their water needs. Low soil moisture in fields and gardens began to slow crop growth and increased demand for irrigation. As the summer heated up, conditions could have become much worse however with that heat came thunderstorms in early August, followed by smaller weekly rain events and then heavy rains early this morning. This has raised the August rainfall total above normal, which is enough to bring our watersheds out of the minor drought.
Our stream flows were a bit lower than normal this summer, but did not dry up completely due to the continuous supply of groundwater from springs in the Oak Ridges Moraine. Now stream flows are rising again just in time for the Salmon run. These fish will move into our watersheds over the next several weeks to spawn. After which, they will die off.
The Conservation Authority will continue to monitor local conditions and provide updates as conditions warrant. For further information, please contact the following GRCA staff at 905-885-8173 during regular business hours or 289-251-1010 or 289-251-2094 (after normal business hours).
Mike Smith, B.Sc. Cory Harris, P.Eng.
Water Resource Technician Watershed Services Coordinator