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Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Water quantity

Help reduce stress on local groundwater and surface water
Help reduce stress on local groundwater and surface water

Water Quantity

Here are some pages on this website related to water quantity:

Low Water Response and Drought Page

Flood Messages Page

Visit also the Water Levels Page

Read on for ways you can help to conserve water, save on water bills, and reduce stress on groundwater and surface water for the benefit of water, soil, living things ... and the economy!

Water Conservation

At home and at work you can help preserve water quantity:

  • Get a rain barrel to capture, store, and use rainwater for your plants and lawn - instead of using valuable treated water.
  • When there is a limited amount of water, hold off on washing your car.
  • During times of low water, let your lawn stay dormant until the next rain.
  • Don't keep the water running ... when brushing your teeth, fill a cup with water instead of letting valuable water pour down the sink.
  • Consider irrigating at different times - for example, later in the day.
  • Ensure your equipment is well-maintained and avoid leaks. Get leaks fixed in your plumbing at home and work.

Here are some external website links to give you more ideas about ways to reduce water use to reduce stress on our water resources in this watershed community:

Canada has about seven per cent of the world's renewable water supply even though we only have less than half of one per cent of the world's population. However, most Canadians live in the south and much of the water is in the north. 

Water quantity can be affected by many factors including evaporation, water use, and precipitation.

Changes in weather and climate can lead to flooding (too much water in a short time in a location) or drought and low water. That's why it's important to have wetlands - that help store and release water - and projects that create "watershed resiliency" to help prepare for changing watershed conditions.

Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN)

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has been partnering with conservation authorities and their member municipalities on a provincial groundwater monitoring network (PGMN) since 2000.  

The PGMN has been established to collect and maintain ambient (baseline) groundwater level and quality information from more than 450 wells, representing major aquifers across the province. Data from the monitoring network provides an early indicator for potential emerging issues such as climate change, water usage demand changes, and changes to water quality from both human-made and natural causes.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) currently monitors water levels and quality at 16 locations across the ABCA watersheds.

About Groundwater

Aquifer

An aquifer is a volume of underground water which is located in porous overburden or bedrock.  An aquifer should hold a sufficient supply of water for environmental and domestic needs.

Groundwater
Groundwater is subsurface water that occurs beneath the water table in soils and geological formations that are fully saturated. It is the water below the water table contained in void spaces (pore spaces between rock and soil particles, or bedrock fractures). It is water occurring in the zone of saturation in an aquifer or soil.

Groundwater discharge
Groundwater discharge is the function of a wetland to accept subsurface water and hold it for release over long periods of time.

Groundwater flow 
Groundwater flow is the rate of groundwater movement through the subsurface.

Groundwater recharge 
Groundwater recharge is the inflow of water to a ground water reservoir from the surface. Infiltration of precipitation and its movement to the water table is one form of natural recharge.

Groundwater recharge area
A groundwater recharge area is an area where an aquifer is replenished from:

(a) Natural processes, such as the infiltration of rainfall and snowmelt and the seepage of surface water from lakes, streams and wetlands;

(b) From human interventions, such as the use of storm water management systems, and;

(c) whose recharge rate exceeds a specified threshold.

A significant groundwater recharge area (SGRA) is one of four vulnerable areas identified in Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006.

Visit sourcewaterinfo.on.ca and keepingwaterclean.ca to find out more. 

Visit also 'Water Budgets' at www.sourcewaterinfo.on.ca