Trent-Severn Waterway – Water Level Management Update – August 16, 2023

The following is a press release from Parks Canada:

Parks Canada's water management team continues to actively monitor water levels, flows, and weather forecasts across the Trent-Severn Waterway. These factors are used to determine dam operations on a daily basis for the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Parks Canada maintains the Ontario Waterways Water Management InfoNet on the Trent-Severn Waterway website at

The InfoNet contains background information on water management practices, water management updates, frequently asked questions about water management, various reports on water management, and the most recent water levels of lakes along both the Rideau Canal and the Trent-Severn Waterway. The information comes from hydrometric gauges located at key points along both waterways and is vetted by trained and experienced Parks Canada water management staff.

This information is intended as supplemental information only. Stakeholders should continue to refer to their respective Conservation Authority or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the primary source for relevant flood forecasting information specific to their area. These are Kawartha ConservationOtonabee Region Conservation AuthorityGanaraska Conservation AuthorityLower Trent Conservation AuthorityLake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority or, in all other areas of the Trent and Severn Watersheds, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.


Significant rainfall occurred over the past week and resulted in total precipitation of about 60-100 mm, which increased water levels and flows across some locations more than others. Some additional rainfall is expected over the next five days, with a potential accumulation of 20-30 mm, with higher amounts possible in areas of localized thunderstorm activity.


Due to the localized nature of the rain events, some areas have received up to 50% of the normal monthly precipitation in July and up to 150% above normal over the first two weeks of August. The impacts from the above-average amounts of precipitation received remain across the system. Flows and levels are above normal for this time of the year.The Trent Severn Water Management team will be active, and the changing conditions will be closely monitored. Any watershed condition updates will be released by your Conservation Authority or local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources district.

Haliburton and Northern Areas

Water levels and flows remain high throughout this area. All lake levels on the Gull River, Burnt River system, and Central Lakes are significantly above average. Lake levels are monitored on a 24-hour basis, and water management operations are being conducted based on the current watershed conditions, lake levels, estimated runoff amounts and forecasted rainfall. The flows on the Burnt River are on average and are expected to be sustained by the enhanced runoff from precipitation and operations in reservoirs. The flows on the Gull River are significantly above average for this time of year due to the localized nature of the recent precipitation event. They are expected to remain high for some time.

Kawartha Lakes and the Otonabee River

Water levels in the Kawartha Lakes are above full and above average; however, they have peaked and are expected to recede towards average. However, the rate of the return to normal is subject to the forecasted rainfall amounts. Flows on the Otonabee River are above average for this time of year and are expected to be sustained by the enhanced runoff generated from past and forecasted precipitation and elevated inflows from the Haliburton areas.

Rice Lake and the Lower Trent

Water levels on Rice Lake, Upper and the Lower Trent River are above average for this time of year. Flows on the Trent River are above average and above normal for this time of year.

Severn River

Lake Simcoe's water levels are above average and expected to remain above average from both previous and forecasted rain amounts. Black River flows are above average. Lake Simcoe outflows have been maximized. Flows on the Severn River are above the seasonal average and likely remain high.