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Quinte rivers still at low water levels

By Trish Allison

Quinte Conservation declared a low-level water warning almost two weeks ago, a possible problem for boat and dock owners, and so far nothing has changed.

The warning is for all rivers in the Quinte Region, except for the Napanee River.

As of now the warning serves primarily as a notification so that the public is aware that they should conserve water.

In a news release, Water Resource Manager Bryon Keene said water levels had deteriorated over the month of August.

Low water conditions continue to exist for watersheds in the area.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re monitoring and keeping track of where the water levels are and how fast the flows are in the rivers to make sure there aren’t going to be any further problems,” said Jennifer May Anderson, communications and marketing specialist with Quinte Conservation.

The local Conservation Authority originally issued the level 1 low water condition on August 19 and a month later on Sept 19 they issued the level 2 warning.

“A level 2 water condition indicates a potentially serious water supply problem, so this low level means that minor supply issues have been encounter and there’s the potential for major supply problems,” said Anderson.

The Ontario Low Water Response Plan characterizes low water conditions as below normal precipitation for an extended period of time (3 months or more), potentially combined with high rates of evaporation, can lower lake levels, stream flows and/or base flows and reduce soil moisture and/or groundwater storage.

Anderson said that because the level 2 low water conditions was issued Quinte Conservation can now ask people who have a permit to take water to voluntarily reduce the amount of water they’re taking from the rivers.

“At this point in time it’s not affecting the water supply for the City of Belleville because their water supply comes from the Bay of Quinte,” said Anderson.

Anderson said they are not anticipating a level 3.