It’s already been a long hot summer, even if you haven’t noticed while being under quarantine, and because of all the hot and dry weather lately, both the City of Guelph and the Grand River Conservation Authority are taking action to enact water preservation measures. In Guelph, that means taking things up to level 1 yellow, and for the GRCA that means telling everyone in the watershed to take it easy.
“These hot, dry conditions, with little relief and low rainfall in the forecast ahead, are the primary reason we’ve moved from level blue to yellow,” said Outside Water Use Program Co-ordinator Karen McKeown in a statement announcing the level 1 yellow downgrade. “As always, we encourage our community to use water wisely, especially through drier periods when water levels are lower everywhere.”
Under level 1 yellow, lawn watering is restricted to between 7 to 9 am, and 7 to 9 pm every other day according to one’s address; odd-numbered houses can water on odd numbered days, and even-numbered houses on even-numbered days.
Along with rainfall, one of the ways the City monitors water levels is the two rivers, and that’s the jurisdiction of the Grand River Conservation Authority. According to the GRCA, sporadic rainfall and an extended dry period over the last 10 days, including the extreme heat, has lead to a reduced flow in streams and tributaries through the watershed.
As a resort, the Grand River Low Water Response Team – which is made up of representatives of major water users including municipalities, farmers, golf course operators, water bottlers, aggregate businesses, Six Nations and others – all agree to put the entire watershed on Level 1.
“Level 1 results in a request for a voluntary 10 per cent reduction in water consumption by all water users, including municipalities, aggregate operations, golf courses, water bottlers, farms for irrigation and private users,” reads a statement from the GRCA. “For watershed residents, the most effective thing to do is follow their municipal outdoor water use bylaws, which limit watering to specific days and times.”
“We’re thankful that Guelph residents and businesses are conscientious water users, especially during the dry summer months,” added McKeown. “The City’s outside water use program is still one of the most successful and recognized water conservation programs in Ontario, and we have our community to thank for that.”