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 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.


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.   


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 (

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