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Wednesday, 28 December 2016 10:28

Agricultural drought resilience workshop planned for Fenelon Falls January 31

December 28, 2016 – Farmers and members of the agricultural community are being encouraged to attend a one-day Agricultural Water Workshop at the Fenelon Falls Community Centre on Tuesday, January 31.

Through much of 2016 the entire Kawartha watershed suffered one of the worst drought periods in recent years impacting a number of farmers and shallow-well users.

The day-long event is being co-hosted by the City of Kawartha Lakes, Kawartha Conservation, Farm & Food Care and the Ontario Ministry Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“This workshop is critical for members of the agricultural community who want to better understand the water cycle, water taking options, groundwater and well considerations in dry periods, alternative watering systems and considerations for retaining surface water,” said Kelly Maloney, Agriculture Development Officer with the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The event is scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes a number of hot topics including observations about low water conditions during 2016 and the resulting local impacts, understanding how much water you have (through both surface water and wells), the permit to take water process, considerations before digging a pond on your property, what to do if/when your well has run dry, and effective management of available water.

Kawartha Conservation Hydrologist Iryna Shulyarenko stressed the challenging conditions area farmers and landowners experienced during 2016.

“Recorded three month precipitation from August to November was below the average precipitation for this period throughout the watershed,” Ms. Shulyarenko explained. “Our flow indicators for October show that with the exception of Blackstock Creek, all of the watershed’s monitoring locations reported flows that are significantly lower than the long-term minimum monthly summer flow.”

Holly Shipclark, Stewardship Coordinator at Kawartha Conservation said presentations and question and answer sessions throughout the day by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs staff, along with staff from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association and Kawartha Conservation will provide much-needed information for farmers and land owners across the region.

“We’ve heard from members of our agricultural community about the challenges they have experienced over the last year,” said Ms. Shipclark. “This aim of this workshop is to provide valuable information from a variety of sources to area farmers and landowners. We have put together an agenda that will help address a lot of the questions and provide important and useful information for our agricultural community.”

The cost for the event is $20 and includes lunch. Interested persons must register Online in advance at or by contacting Kelly Maloney at 705-324-9411 Ext. 1208