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October 17, 2016 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WATERSHED— The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Low Water Response Team (LWRT) is advising residents that the entire watershed remains at a Level III / Severe status.  With no substantial rain in the forecasts, the outlook for the watershed is getting dire.

Crotch Lake has not yet responded to increased inflows from the upper lakes; therefore flows in the Mississippi River downstream of Crotch Lake continue to recede. Flows could be at an all-time low by the end of November and continue that way throughout the winter.

"We have been reporting on this situation now for several months and we are quickly approaching the critical stage of no longer having enough water in the system to augment and maintain flows in the main channel of the Mississippi River," said Gord Mountenay, MVCA Water Management Supervisor. "All of the tributaries of the Mississippi River have virtually stopped flowing with natural rock outcrops now keeping the water in some places along the watercourses. It's a pretty bleak picture for the winter if these conditions persist. We have only had some anecdotal information about wells going dry, but the potential is high for that problem to increase."

MVCA continues to advise the general public to use extreme caution while out on area waterways for recreational purposes such as hunting and boating.

The LWRT continues to urge those residents and residents on well systems to use water conservatively.  Water conservation is recommended for everyone within the watershed although it is less critical in the urban area of Ottawa that is served by a water system which draws water from the Ottawa River.

Those businesses or residents that have permits for taking water from surface or groundwater sources are encouraged to reduce their actual taking as much as possible. We strongly urge residents not to use potable water for building ice rinks and avoid using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences as we head into the winter months. Municipalities may have invoked water restrictions, so check your municipality's website for water restriction bylaws. For more water conservation tips visit

In order to track impacts and define the severity of the drought conditions within the watershed, we request that any individuals or businesses within the Mississippi Valley watershed that are experiencing difficulties with their wells please contact the Conservation Authority by calling 613-253-0006 ext. 233 or 243. There is a questionnaire on our website that can be filled out by the public that have witnessed environmental concerns or issues with dry wells to assist in documenting this event.

Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at .

Contact: Gord Mountenay, C.E.T.
Water Management Supervisor
613-253-0006 ext. 233     

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority