Home News B.C. Drought level increased in four areas of southern B.C.

Drought level increased in four areas of southern B.C.

VICTORIA - Responding to continuing dry conditions, the Government of B.C.
has announced a Level 4 drought rating for the South Thompson, Similkameen,
Kettle and Skagit areas due to ongoing low stream flows.
At Level 4, conditions are extremely dry. Further declines in stream, lake
and aquifer levels could lead to water shortages and affect people, industry
such as agriculture, wildlife, and fish stocks. All water users, including
those who access groundwater, are urged to maximize their water conservation
efforts.
The establishment of a Level 4 drought advisory, signals that regional water
managers may take additional regulatory actions if they are deemed
necessary. Any such actions will be site specific depending on individual
stream conditions. Specific actions could include the temporary suspension
of water licences or short-term water approvals in affected watersheds if
necessary. Ministry water management staff will continue to monitor
conditions, work closely with First Nations, local governments and key
stakeholders, and provide updates as the need arises.
Although residential, agricultural and industrial users within
municipalities and regional districts backed by reservoir storage are less
vulnerable to water supply shortages than water users served by smaller
water systems from streams, lakes and wells, all water users are encouraged
to observe local water conservation bylaws to prolong water supplies and to
maintain flows for fish and ecosystems.
 Water users are also reminded to ensure that water intakes are screened to
prevent fish from being pulled into water systems as water levels drop. Low
water levels can impede the passage of salmon to spawning grounds, increase
susceptibility to disease, or cause stranding or death due to low oxygen and
high water temperatures.
 Drought ratings for the South Thompson, Similkameen, Kettle and Skagit areas
were last adjusted on July 10, 2015, when they were increased to Level 3.
The Okanagan area remains at Level 3 at this time. To view this release, or
learn more about angling closures in these areas visit:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/stories/fishing-closures-part-of-comprehensive-drought-response-1
 Water conservation is everyone's responsibility. Many communities in B.C.
are prepared to deal with water supply shortages and low streamflow
conditions through drought management plans and water conservation programs
that are already in place.
 
Learn More:
 B.C. Drought Information: http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought/
 B.C. Drought Level Map: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/lowflow/droughtmap.htm
B.C. Drought Response Plan (June 2015):
http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought/response.html
 What Can You Do?: http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought/action.html
 Agriculture Drought Strategies: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/emergency/Drought/Drought.htm
 Irrigation scheduling techniques and water conservation:
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/business/natural-resource-industries/agriculture/agriculture-documents/resource-management/factsheets-and-publications/500-series/577100-1_irrigation_scheduling_techniques.pdf

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