Hamilton Conservation Authority reports that because of the ongoing dry conditions, the Hamilton Low Water Response Team has declared a Level 1 Low Water Condition for the entire HCA watershed. This includes Spencer Creek, Chedoke Creek, Redhill Creek, Stoney Creek and Battlefield Creek, Stoney Creek Numbered Watercourses, as well as all of their tributaries and other minor watercourses.
The Hamilton Low Water Response Team is encouraging a 10 percent reduction in water use. This applies to all users of water supplied from watercourses, waterbodies, and groundwater sources within the HCA watershed.
Strategies for reducing water use can be found on the attached Level 1 Low Water Condition Factsheet. Reducing the use of these sources at this critical time will avoid more serious shortages in the watershed, and lessen the impact of reduced water availability on our environment.
Water users reliant on the municipal water system are asked to follow any active municipal water use bylaws.
A Low Water Condition is declared when precipitation amounts and/or streamflow rates fall below pre‐determined thresholds, set by the provincial government under its Low Water Response Program. Level 1 was declared as three‐ month precipitation totals were predominantly below 80 percent of long‐term averages, and 30‐day average streamflows are predominantly below the minimum average summer month flow.
Rainfall in the last three months has been well below normal with extended dry periods, resulting in well below normal flows in area watercourses. The three‐month precipitation totals (April 1 to June 30) indicated Level 1 Low Water Conditions. The three‐month precipitation totals were 48 to 85 percent of long‐term averages, with 6 of 8 stations receiving less than 80 percent (the threshold for Level 1). In addition, 30‐day average streamflows at the end of June indicated Level 1 or Level 2 Low Water Conditions at three of the five available stations (Upper Spencer Creek at Safari Road, Middle Spencer Creek at Highway 5, and Lower Spencer Creek at Market Street).
The Hamilton Low Water Response Team is made up of water users in the watershed including: agricultural representatives, golf courses, nursery operators, quarry operations, and industrial users as well as provincial and municipal representatives. HCA staff act as co‐chair for this team, and are responsible for regular evaluation of watershed conditions which provides evidence to support declaring low water conditions.