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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Site Management

Spring 2012 Conditions

Winter/spring 2012 has been very dry. The snowpack did not contain the normal moisture content, nor did the typical "spring showers" arrive. Parks Canada's staff recognized the situation early and took steps to catch water in the reservoirs and conserve that water for the coming summer season. However, with below normal precipitation, the typical spring run-off did not occur this year.

Parks Canada used a strategy of water conservation through the spring in order to retain an adequate volume of water in the Haliburton reservoirs to meet upcoming system-wide needs. In the lead up to the May 24th weekend the need for water for the system became evident and a decision was made to draw water from the Haliburton reservoirs.

Typically Parks Canada requires water for the system in the heat of the summer, usually beginning in late June or July. Forecasts for 2012 indicate hot, dry weather will continue. If this forecast holds true, we can anticipate stresses on the TSW watersheds over the weeks and months ahead, which may bring with it periods of low water. The situation being experienced on the TSW is not unique – low water reports are being issued over a wide geographic area.

Parks Canada manages water on a system-wide basis to meet a broad range of stakeholder needs for water including recreation, municipal water supply, flood mitigation and fisheries management. On a daily basis, water control staff monitors precipitation, water levels and flow rates, and uses this information to make decisions on dam adjustments. To communicate more effectively with the public, Parks Canada has implemented a water management website at that provides ongoing updated data for all stakeholders.

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Trent-Severn Waterway