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Flood ForecastingThe CRCA maintains an infrastructure for regional flood forecasting. If flood conditions are forecast, one of the following will be sent to municipalities, emergency response coordinators, the media and agencies:
DroughtThe term drought is commonly used, but this term is more suited to the prairies where dry conditions may persist over many years. In eastern Ontario, it's more appropriate to use the term low water conditions. There are three levels of low water conditions that can be declared:
Precipitation DataLooking for data? Click on the links below to download Intensity Duration and Frequency (IDF) data for Kingston and Brockville.
Water Monitoring and Forecasting
With the MOE, the CRCA operates a water quality monitoring program in local lakes and rivers. Water and benthic invertebrate samples are collected by the CRCA at 14 stations around the watershed. Chemical analysis of the water samples is provided by the MOE. CRCA staff analyze the benthic samples.
Flood and Drought ForecastingThe CRCA monitors weather information, river flows, snow pack and ice conditions in order to predict when floods will occur and how high the water may rise. When flooding is possible, or about to occur, the CRCA issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials and the media. In a flood emergency situation, municipalities take the lead as they are responsible for emergency response under provincial legislation. Each municipality has an emergency response plan which deals with many situations including flooding.
As a result of a review of flood message terminology, the CRCA and Conservation Authorities across the province are introducing some changes effective February 2012. These changes will ensure that Conservation Authorities use consistent terminology in line with that used by other agencies such as the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and the Weather Network.
Flood Messages and What They MeanNormal: No flood conditions exist
Watershed Conditions Statement - Water Safety
Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook
Flood Watch – Flooding is possible in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.
Flood Warning – Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities.
Water Quantity MonitoringThe CRCA and Environment Canada maintain eight stream gauges that continuously measure water levels and flows on creeks in the Cataraqui region. These stream gauges are located on the following watercourses:
The CRCA also measures precipitation and snow depth and quality at 12 rain gauges and seven snowcourse survey sites.
Water Quality MonitoringWe monitor water quality through a number of different programs. Chemical analysis of surface water (lakes, rivers and streams) from 14 locations around the region is analyzed monthly during ice-free conditions. This is done under the Ministry of Environment's Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network.
Benthic macroinvertebrates are also collected and identified regularly throughout the year. These are insects such as dragonflies, mayflies and leeches that spend some or all of their life in the water. These insects provide a good indicator of the quality of the water. A large population of benthic macroinvertebrates means that the stream or river is healthy.
Groundwater quality is also monitored at seven wells in the region throught the MOE's Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network. The CRCA maintains records for each of these wells and is able to evaluate long-term trends throught their analysis.
©2013 Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority