Low water at Sparks Rapids on the Rideau River across from Strathcona Park, on May 12


Photo Kathleen Kelly

This spring of the COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in many of us walking the river paths on each side of the Rideau River almost every day, using the various pedestrian bridges available for pleasant loop walks. Low water levels have been one noticeable feature of the river which seems to be already at August levels.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority monitors the river’s water levels; a statement issued on June 4 noted that the level was low because of below average rainfall in April and May:

“Although stream flow values are not currently below any of the low water thresholds, [they] are lower than normal by as much as 30 to 50 percent and field observations indicate that ecological conditions are becoming stressed. The average 90-day rainfall measured at climate stations in and around the watershed is just shy of 80 per cent of normal for this time of year. In the past 30 days, average rainfall is slightly below 50 per cent of normal.”

Cormorant photo by Kathleen Kelly
Wood duck photo by Kathleen Kelly

Let’s hope for more rainy days to help our beautiful Rideau keep flowing normally.  — Jan Meldrum