water safety statement

Cataraqui Conservation has issued a Water Safety Statement today, signifying improving conditions within the watershed.

Weather Situation: Compared to the heavy rainfall of recent weeks, significantly drier conditions are forecasted for the next several days.

Risks: Though water levels have crested and have begun to recede following the month’s worth of rainfall received April 29 – May 3, flows through and near dams are still high. As such, many waterbodies are not yet safe for recreational purposes, including the Cataraqui River and Rideau Canal, according to Parks Canada.

Cataraqui Conservation is urging caution around all dams (inflow and outflow channels) and fast-flowing watercourses. Respect the hazards in these areas by obeying all warning signs, and keep away from booms, buoys, and barriers. Stay well back from the water’s edge above and below dams and hydroelectric stations. Creek banks and lake shorelines may be slippery, increasing the chance of falling in.

For more information about when conditions on the Cataraqui River and Rideau Canal will be safe for recreational purposes visit the Parks Canada water management updates page at


For up-to-date flooding information, please visit our flood forecasting and information page at https://cataraquiconservation.ca/pages/flood

Staff will continue to monitor conditions and forecasts and update statements as needed. This Watershed Conditions Statement will remain in effect until (or updated before) Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 11:59 PM.

See below for watershed conditions terminology:

Normal: No flood conditions exist

Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety: High flows, unsafe banks, melting ice or other factors that could be dangerous for recreational users such as anglers, canoeists, hikers, children, pets, etc. Flooding is not expected.

Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook: Early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, cause ice jams, lakeshore flooding or erosion.

Flood Watch: Flooding is possible in specific watercourse or municipalities. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should prepare.

Flood Warning: Flooding is imminent or already occurring in specific watercourses or municipalities. Municipalities and individuals should take action to deal with flood conditions. This may include road closures and evacuations.