About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yellow Alert for Water Levels

This a pretty big deal. So despite all the whining about how "this wasn't a real summer," it appears that there are some benefits to getting a decent amount of rainfall, like not having to worry about the water levels from dipping to far out of hand. Now I would never advocate that we have cause to celebrate because we didn't have to conserve, that would be just silly. But it's still nice to hear that the environment's not yet a total loss.

GUELPH, ON, September 17, 2009 – The City has moved to Level 1 Yellow of its Outside Water Use Program after water managers from across the Grand River watershed moved to endorse Level I flow conditions of the Ontario Low Water Response Plan for the Eramosa watershed. During Level I conditions the Grand River Low Water Response Team (GRLWRT) asks communities in the Eramosa River Watershed to aim for a 10 per cent reduction in water consumption.

The decision comes in response to receding stream flows across the watershed. Despite a relatively wet summer, rainfall in the past month has concentrated on the northern and southern portions of the Grand River Watershed leaving the central portion, which includes the Eramosa River, significantly untouched. As a result, river flows in the Eramosa River have dropped to about half of what they would normally be at this time of the year. There is little precipitation expected over the next week and Environment Canada is predicting warmer temperatures and below normal precipitation over the next few months.

The decision by the GRLWRT requires Guelph to move from Level 0 Blue of the Outside Water Use Program to Level 1 Yellow. The change in Program level does not restrict activities associated with outside water use, rather it reminds residents to be aware of their water consumption and follow the City’s “reduce outside use” guidelines. Level 1 Yellow conditions still allow for alternate day lawn watering, and do not restrict garden, tree or shrub watering.

Although outside watering activities are not affected by the level change, compliance to the program guidelines becomes mandatory. With the change in program level, Waterworks staff and City By-law Officers will increase enforcement of the Outside Water Use Program. Residents who fail to comply with the City’s “reduce outside use” guidelines can face a fine of $110.

For information about the Grand River Conservation Authority, visit www.grandriver.ca. Information about the Province’s Low Water Response Plan and Guelph’s Outside Water Use Program can be obtained by Guelph Waterworks at 519-837-5627 or by visiting guelph.ca/water.

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