Communities are tightening up on water usage as the region grows ever drier on Friday.

The town of Almonte, west of Ottawa, has a watering ban in place as levels at five community wells are dropping fast.

Residents like Phil Alderwood won’t be able to water their lawns until further notice.

“There are more important uses for water than cosmetics and that’s really what it amounts to,” he said, adding he’s never seen his lawn this dry.

“I haven’t seen anyone around town watering at all so I think they’ve been acknowledging the fact that it’s so bloody dry.”

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority also announced more restrictions Friday for communities including Smiths Falls, Perth, Kemptville and Merrickville.

Their Level 2 drought status means residents are asked to reduce their water usage by 20 per cent by taking shorter showers and washing cars less often, for example.

It comes as rainfall amounts over the last 30 days are less than 60% of what’s normal for this time of year.

“While higher order streams have some flow, many smaller streams have been reduced to shallow pools between dry riffle sections,” said the authority in a statement.

“These pools are the only remaining refuge available for fish and other aquatic species.”

The Rideau Canal has not been affected yet, but if similar conditions stay through August the authority said that could change.

The five-day forecast shows a 30 per cent chance of showers on Sunday and Tuesday, with a 60 per cent chance on Wednesday.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Catherine Lathem