Drought continues

 

The possibility of a level three drought remains close, in the opinion of South Nation Conservation Authority officials.

The SNC examines triggers such as rainfall and stream flow along with other factors to form that opinion. However, it is up to the province to declare a level three drought.

There is the possibility of some rain, according to the latest forecasts. 

“Any rain that we do get helps somewhat, but what we need is a long duration of low intensity rain,” says Jason Symington, SNC environmental technician. He explained that the higher intensity rainfalls, which we have experienced tend to run off, rather than soak in to the ground.

Later this week the water response team, which is made up of stakeholders from business and industry, including the agricultural sector, the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and municipalities will meet to discuss and record any low water issues they are experiencing.

As of Tuesday morning, no dry wells have been reported in South Dundas. SNC is still asking that anyone experiencing water-related issues contact them a 1-877-984-2948.

After the meeting of the water response team, if necessary, the SNC can make a recommendation to the province to up the drought level to a level three, which can determine further water restrictions above the 20 percent conservation that people are now being asked to do under the level two conditions.

In the meantime, PC politicians, including Stormont, Dundas, South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell, met in Ottawa Monday, calling on the McGuinty government to take action to help Ontario farmers who have been hit hard by the drought.

Tuesday, Ted McMeekin, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs toured farms in eastern Ontario. 

Ontario has asked Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to join with the province in an assessment of support options for livestock producers affected by dry weather through the AgriRecovery framework – a disaster relief program for farms.

McMeekin called on the federal government to accelerate tax relief for livestock producers in affected regions through the identification of Prescribed Drought Regions.

Ontario is committing that farmers in Prescribed Drought Regions will be protected from reductions in their AgriStability coverage if they are:

• Experiencing challenges from the lack of rain and dry conditions.

• Forced to sell breeding stock due to hay and pasture shortages.

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