Ground Water Canada

News Sustainability Water Issues
Hamilton, Ont., watershed asked to reduce water use by 10%


July 29, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Hamilton, Ont. – Due to ongoing dry conditions, water users of surface and ground water sources within the Hamilton Conservation Authority watershed are encouraged to reduce their water use by 10 per cent.

The authority ask that water users share this request with other water users.

Reducing the use of surface and ground water sources at this critical time will avoid more serious shortages in the watershed, and lessen the impact of reduced water availability on our environment, the authority said in a news release. Water users reliant on the municipal water system are asked to follow any active municipal water-use bylaws.

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Rainfall in the last three months has been well below normal with extended dry periods, resulting in reduced flows in area watercourses. Three‐month precipitation totals for mid April to mid July were 52 to 78 per cent of long‐term averages, and the majority of stations had three‐month precipitation totals less than 70 per cent of long‐term averages. In addition, 30‐day average streamflows have fallen below 70 per cent of the minimum average summer month flow, at the majority of monitored stations.

As a result, as of July 27 the Hamilton Low Water Response Team has declared a Level 1 Low Water
condition for the entire HCA watershed, which includes Spencer Creek, Chedoke Creek, Redhill Creek, Stoney Creek and Battlefield Creek, Stoney Creek Numbered Watercourses, as well as all of their tributaries and other minor watercourses.

The Hamilton Low Water Response Team is made up of water users in the watershed including agricultural representatives, golf courses, nursery operators, quarry operations, and industrial users as well as provincial and municipal representatives.

A Low Water condition is declared when precipitation amounts and/or streamflow rates fall below predetermined thresholds, set by the provincial government under its Low Water Response Program. Level 1 is declared when three‐ month precipitation totals are below 80 per cent of long‐term averages and/or when 30‐day average streamflows are below 70 per cent of the minimum average summer month flow. Level 1 results in a request for a voluntary 10 per cent reduction in water consumption by all surface and ground water users.