MVCA, ORRC says Ottawa River levels, flows in ‘normal range’

WEST CARLETON – The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority says the lower Ottawa River from Arnprior to Hawkesbury are within the “normal range.”

“A Water Safety Statement is being issued for areas along the Lower Ottawa River,” the MVCA released in a statement today (March 30). “Based on current snow cover and weather forecast, it’s anticipated levels and flows from Arnprior to Hawkesbury will remain within the normal range of fluctuations associated with the spring freshet period.”

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee (ORRC) indicates that with warming temperatures and forecasted precipitation, increases in flows and levels are expected to continue and may cause minor flooding in low-lying areas over the coming weeks depending on the temperatures and precipitation received, but levels are currently expected to remain below flood thresholds.

“Water levels and flows on the lower reach of the Ottawa River from Lake Deschenes to the Montreal Region are expected to increase gradually over the next few days in response to precipitation received on the south and central portions of the basin,” the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board released in a statement today (March 30). “Levels are expected to remain below flood thresholds in all locations. With cooler weather prevailing in the northern portion of the basin, water levels and flows elsewhere along the upper part of the Ottawa River are expected to remain fairly stable over the next few days and will remain close to normal for this time of year.  Northern reservoirs are emptied and are ready to retain snow melt runoff water.”

Throughout the freshet period, the combination of heavy rainfall and snowmelt may result in rapid increases in water levels and flows on the main stem of the Ottawa River from Mattawa down to the Montreal Region. The MVCA said.

“Residents in flood-prone areas are encouraged to closely follow evolving conditions and to take necessary measures,” the MVCA said. “Residents are advised to stay away from watercourses where flows are high and where banks might be unstable. Parents are encouraged to explain dangers to children.”

The Mississippi Valley, Rideau Valley, and South Nation Conservation Authorities monitor water levels and weather forecasts with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as part of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Program. Updates are provided as conditions change.

The Ottawa River Regulating Committee will be reassessing forecast conditions and providing hydrological condition updates on its website daily at

To view current flood warnings across Ontario, visit: