GRCA urges water conservation as dry conditions persist

Residents are being asked to cut their water consumption by 10 per cent because of a lack of rainfall in the Grand River watershed over the past two months.

Residents asked to cut water consumption by 10 per cent

While cooling off with a water fight at home might sound like a fun idea, residents in the Grand River Conservation Authority watershed are being asked to cut back on their water usage by 10 per cent. If you want to beat the heat, maybe hit the beach instead. (The Associated Press)

The Grand River Conservation Authority is urging residents to cut their water consumption by 10 per cent due to dry conditions throughout the watershed.

"I'm sure that people are well aware of the fact that it's been quite dry and rainfall has been quite limited over the last couple of months," GRCA communications manager Lisa Stocco said.

Residents can do that by following municipal bylaws or policies that recommend reducing water usage by watering the lawn only on specific days and avoiding unnecessary use of water, like to wash a car.

The GRCA low water response team – which is made up of farmers, gravel pit owners, golf course owners, municipalities and Six Nations – decided to place the entire watershed at level one under the Ontario low water response program Wednesday afternoon.

Need a good soaking rain

June saw just 55 mm of rain when, on average, and Waterloo region gets about 82 mm in the month, Univeristy of Waterloo weather centre co-ordinator Frank Seglenieks said.

He said we even less rain fell in May – just 42 mm, when 82 mm is the norm.

What we need is really one of these days where it just rains a light rain the whole day.- University of Waterloo weather centre co-ordinator Frank Seglenieks

"It hasn't been extremely dry, but it has been on the dry side," he said. "In the summertime in southern Ontario, we do go through these long dry periods."

He said there is the potential for some relief, but the area needs more than just a quick thunderstorm, as was seen on Monday.

"What we need is really one of these days where it just rains a light rain the whole day and we get a lot of precipitation that can really soak in," he said.

No impact on beaches, tubing

The GRCA said almost all of their rain gauges are under the level one threshold for three-month precipitation.

"The dry conditions and diminishing river and stream flows can place stress on the natural environment of the Grand River and its tributaries," the GRCA said in a release.

There is some good news, though, for those looking to beat the heat this weekend as temperatures creep back up to 28 C on Sunday. Stocco said the low water levels should not impact those who want to go swimming, fishing or tubing this long weekend.

"We're not expecting it to have any impact on recreational use at this time, this is really just about water conservation," she said.

with files from Colin Butler


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