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Thursday, 17 March 2016 14:52

WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT- WATER SAFETY

DATE: 17 March, 2016
TIME: 3:00 p.m.

Message sent on the basis of information received from:
• Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting Network
• Ministry of Natural Resources - Surface Water Monitoring Centre
• Environment Canada
• Trent-Severn Waterway


Spring conditions have arrived with light rain over the last few days and air temperatures reaching 10⁰C yesterday. The snowpack within the southern portion of the Kawartha Conservation watershed has pretty well melted and ice cover on local watercourses and lakes is breaking up.

A significant amount of snow is still present within the upper reaches of the Burnt River and Gull River watersheds. The water content in the snow across this northern region varies from below average to about average. Soil surfaces are mostly frozen and unable to absorb moisture. While mild temperatures combined with recent precipitation have resulted in accelerated snow melt and increased levels in these two rivers, we anticipate no major concerns at this time in the Kawartha Lakes.

Water levels in local watercourses have increased by 8-12 cm in response to the runoff received over the last three days, with no flooding reported, and rivers and streams staying within their banks. Water accumulation in low-lying areas, road ditches, and areas with poor drainage has occurred.

Environment Canada predicts a cooling trend over the next several days, with daytime highs of 1⁰ – 3⁰ C, and night time temperatures ranging from -3⁰ to -10⁰ C. Minor precipitation is predicted for today and this evening, but little or no major precipitation from Friday to Tuesday. This weather forecast should result in a stabilizing of the spring runoff.

Under these circumstances, all local rivers, streams, and lakes are extremely dangerous. Riverbanks are slippery and unsafe, and remaining ice cover is becoming unstable and hazardous. Kawartha Conservation is warning all residents to stay away from water bodies, as well as water structures such as bridges, culverts, and dams. Children should be warned of dangerous conditions and caregivers should maintain a close watch on children who are outside.

This Watershed Conditions Statement-Water Safety will be in effect through Monday, March 21, 2016.

Kawartha Conservation will continue monitoring local watercourses and notify the public and municipalities within its watershed jurisdiction of any changes. If you are aware of or have concerns about flooding, please contact Kawartha Conservation at 705.328.2271 or 705.344.0155 after hours.