Parks Canada Water Management Update from the Rideau Canal

Please see below for the water management update from the Rideau Canal for August 20th:

“Parks Canada's water management team continues to actively monitor water levels and flows, and weather forecasts across the Rideau Canal.

Recently, Parks Canada launched the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet on the Rideau Canal website at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/Rideau/info/infonet The InfoNet contains background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water levels of lakes along both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Of specific note is the water levels tool within the InfoNet which provides lake levels data from the last 30 days and graphic representation of levels for the current year. The information comes from hydrometric gauges located at key points along both waterways and is vetted by trained and experienced Parks Canada water management staff.

This information is intended as supplemental information only. Stakeholders should continue to refer to their respective Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the primary source for relevant flood forecasting information specific to their area.

Weather

Rainfall amounts for July have been at least 50-75 % below normal and spatially localized with the similar trends being observed for August. The 5 day forecast suggests that the above average temperatures will taper off near the end of the week and a small amount (5-10 mm) of precipitation is forecasted. Most of the rainfall which includes the recorded and forecasted is associated with thunderstorms and varies highly from one location to another.   

Outlook 

The ongoing hot and dry conditions for the extended period of time have resulted in lower than normal local inflows and enhanced the rates of evaporation. Persistent dryness especially in the areas that missed out on the localized precipitation continues and the overall system remains in below normal summer conditions.  Water management and operational activities are conducted to appropriately respond to the changes.

The Rideau Canal Water Management team will be actively monitoring the changing conditions. Any watershed condition updates will be released by your Conservation Authority. 

Cataraqui River

The Cataraqui River lake levels are near average but are declining due to the continued hot weather and lack of rainfall.   All draft reductions will be posted via Notice to Shipping as well as on the water management webpage (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/rideau/info/infonet).

Tay River

Bobs Lake is near average level for this time of year. Outflows from Bobs Lake are increased to compensate for the water level declines associated with enhanced evaporation rates and persistent dry conditions in river reaches and lakes downstream including the Tay River and Big Rideau Lake.

Rideau River

Water levels for  Wolfe Lake are above average, Upper Rideau Lake level is on average and Big Rideau Lake is near average level for this time of the year. Outflows from Wolfe Lake have been increased to slow the rate of decline on Upper Rideau Lake. Levels in the river from Smiths Falls to Ottawa all remain in navigation range. “

Lyse PrendergastComment
RVCA - "Minor Low Water Conditions in Rideau Valley Watershed"

 

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority issues frequent statements about watershed conditions in the Rideau Valley area.

MOST RECENT STATEMENT:  “As the warm, dry weather continues, conditions in the Rideau Valley Watershed now meet the threshold for Minor Low Water status under the Ontario Low Water Response Program. Watershed residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve water during dry conditions.”

Click here to read the full statement.

Check the RVCA website for other updates and information.

Lyse PrendergastComment
FOCA Elert - Mid-August 2019

 

Click here to read the most recent newsletter of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations, which includes a number of articles of interest to Big Rideau Lake cottagers and boaters such as cottage closing tips, end of season updates, lake environment and public policy news.

Lyse PrendergastComment
Friends of Murphy Point Park 2019 Raffle

The Friends of Murphy Point Park are holding a raffle of a birch-bark canoe to be built in the park this July by a native Canadian craftsman utilizing natural materials such as birch-bark, spruce roots and spruce gum found in and around the park. Funds raised will go towards supporting programs at the park.

To purchase tickets, contact Don at 613-273-2132.

 
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Update on TRL Official Plan Update Process

The Township of Rideau Lakes is embarking on a major update to its Official Plan. The purpose of the Official Plan is to ensure that future planning and development meets the community’s needs, and regular updates are required under the Planning Act. As part of this update process, there have been a number of public consultation exercises to identify what those needs are, including public meetings and surveys. The next item on this agenda is an Open House on Waterfront Development.

Open House: Waterfront Development

Friday July 12, 2019
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Portland Community Hall
24 Water Street

As part of the Community Consultation Strategy for the Official Plan Update there will be an Open House to discuss Waterfront Development on July 12, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Portland Community Hall at 24 Water Street, Portland, Ontario. This session will include topics such as fish habitat, vegetated shorelines and ensuring the water setback is consistent with the United Counties’ Official Plan. 

Any additional feedback on the Official Plan Update is welcomed at any time during or after the Open House. Please contact staff by phone, email or appointment to provide comments to help staff and Council gain a greater understanding of what you would like to see in the updated Official Plan. 

For more information on the Major Official Plan Update, to submit comments or to add your email to our notification list please contact Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services at bmulhern@twprideaulakes.on.ca or 613-928-2251 ext. 244

The Official Plan Update Community Consultation Strategy can be found online here.

Survey #3: Resilient Communities

Deadline: Thursday, June 13

The Resilient Communities theme was identified by the public as an important topic to review as part of the Official Plan Update. This theme consists of several topics that play a role in the ability of the municipality to manage development to help our communities adapt to environmental, social, and economic changes that present new challenges to the community at large. These topics are climate change, social resiliency, the adaptive reuse of historical buildings, community improvement plans, our ability to rehabilitate contaminated lands, and environmental servicing options. This survey was created to receive public feedback on Discussion Paper #2 - Resilient Communities. A summary of the Discussion Paper can be found here

Complete the survey online here by end of day on Thursday, June 13. 

Poonamalie Lock 32 / Final Phase of Historic Masonry Complete
 

Parks Canada Update:

The final phase of historic stone masonry repairs at Poonamalie Lock 32 are now finished. The contractor is currently completing landscaping and site restoration to welcome visitors for the 2019 navigation season. 

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Since last November, the contractor has completed repairs on all wing walls and approach walls, the monoliths, upper breast wall, gate sill and recess floor, as well as the lock chamber walls. This work included repointing, grouting and stone replacement. As part of this project, the team replaced old concrete repairs, which had been completed 30 to 40 years ago, with heritage stone. This realigned the east wall, which increased its stability, improved its aesthetic, and extended its lifespan.

This project is part of Parks Canada’s unprecedented $3 billion dollar investment over 5 years to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada. These historic investments will mitigate health and safety risks, halt the loss of nationally significant built heritage and stimulate the economy in communities across the country.

 A Brief History of Poonamalie Lock 32

The Poonamalie site’s original name was First Rapids, as it is the first lockstation encountered in the descent toward Ottawa on the Rideau system. According to local folklore, the name Poonamalie was derived from a town in India named Poovirundavalli where the British Army stationed a garrison in the early 19th century.  An officer of the Royal Engineers felt the cedar-lined roads at First Rapids were reminiscent of those he had seen while serving in India. 

The channel in this section of the Rideau Canal is nearly 2.5km and bypasses the original rapids in the Rideau River. In addition to the lock, earth dam, and weir, a defensible lock master’s house can also be found at this site. This building was originally built in 1842 and remains in use to this day.

For More Information:

For up-to-date news on infrastructure work along the Rideau Canal, please visit www.pc.gc.ca/rcInfrastructure. For questions regarding this project, please email RideauCanal.info@pc.gc.ca and include “Poonamalie Lock” in the subject line.