No drought in the Otonabee Region watershed this fall: Otonabee Conservation

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The Otonabee River watershed is not in a drought condition and the low water status will remain in place as normal, the Otonabee Region Low Water Response team determined after meeting on Thursday to review watershed conditions.

Last month, the average mean daily air temperature was 1.1 C above normal, according to a bulletin from Otonabee Conservation.

While streamflow deteriorated along Jackson Creek and the Ouse River in August, the trend was driven by the dryness and evaporation/transpiration that transpired in July and first half of August.

Increased precipitation and a boost in streamflow was observed in the second half of August, signalling the likely replenishment of some shallow groundwater supplies, Otonabee Conservation advises.

Over the last three-month and 18-month periods, rainfall periods show improvements. As a result, there are no short-term or long-term concerns for drought in the area.

“As we move into the fall, evaporation/transpiration rates are lower, air temperatures are dropping, and the growing season is over. Also, normally with the fall comes regional-scale rainfall events, which means that there are very low concerns for drought through the remainder of this year,” states a release from Otonabee Conservation.

The team met four times throughout the summer to access precipitation, temperature, and streamflow monitoring data. Conditions may have seemed dry at times, but the low water status has remained as “normal” all season long.

Otonabee Conservation plans the continued analysis of watershed conditions. The Otonabee Region Water Response Team, along with representatives from local municipalities, water management agencies, community members, federal and provincial agencies, will meet next year to further monitor and evaluate conditions.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

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Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner