Low Water Status

Historically, periods of dry weather and low water levels or drought have been relatively uncommon in Ontario (about every 10-15 years). However, recent studies on changing weather patterns indicate low water levels may become more common, potentially compounded by the province's steadily increasing demands for water.

Learn how to conserve water during times of low water.



  • Generally indicates low flow to base flow conditions. It should be noted that during Normal flow conditions, the inherent risk to personal safety associated with flowing water still exists.

LEVEL 1 - Low Water Condition

  • Low water condition is the first of three levels and is the first indication of a potential water supply problem.
  • Condition – The potential for water supply problems is identified.
  • Action – Water users will be asked to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 10%

LEVEL 2 - Low water Condition

  • Suggests a potentially serious problem.
  • Condition – Minor water supply issues are encountered. There is the potential for major supply problems.
  • Action – Water users will be asked to voluntarily reduce their water use by 20% or greater.

LEVEL 3 - Low water Condition

  • Represents the most severe drought condition and indicates that the water supply can no longer meet the demand.
  • Condition – Supply no longer meets demand. Social and economic impacts are experienced.
  • Action – Voluntary measures have not produced the necessary response. Restrictions proposed by the Water Response Team and approved by the Government of Ontario will be put into action.

For more information visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website.