A Level 1 Low Water Advisory has been issued for the entire Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority watershed.
The move was announced by the Ausable Bayfield Water Response Team (WRT) on Friday, and is based on low stream flows and a hot, dry month of July.
Most areas of the watershed observed next to no rainfall for three weeks in a row.
If the hot and dry conditions continue through August and September residents could experience their driest summer since 2007.
In that year the Water Response Team issued a Level 2 Low Water Advisory-- and contemplating declaring the situation a Level 3 alert within the watershed for the first time since the program began in 2001.
To avoid further crisis, the Water Response Team is urging everyone to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 10 percent based on the current Level 1 conditions.
Along with the Level 1 recommendation, the WRT and the Ministry of the Environment want all surface-water "Permit To Take Water" (PTTW) holders to attend a meeting the week of August 15th.
This meeting would discuss sharing limited resources among PTTW users if a Level 2 declaration becomes necessary.
Such a local move could avert mandatory restrictions being imposed by the Province under Level 3 conditions.
The Water Response Team will review conditions in mid-August to either maintain the status-quo, or move to the Level 2 declaration.
ABCA staff are monitoring rainfall and streamflow data and will keep the public informed.
The Water Response Team invites the public to its website at www.abca.on.ca where a dynamic low-water advisory tool explains low-water advisories in effect locally.