VICTORIA – With weather conditions expected to remain warm and dry, water
users in the North Thompson region are being urged to reduce water
consumption, and the Government of B.C. has announced a Level 3 drought
rating for the area.
Level 3 drought conditions call for voluntary water use reductions of an
additional 20% beyond Level 2 conservation levels (30% overall) from all
municipal, agricultural and industrial users. Staff with the Ministry of
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations anticipate that this
region could experience significant water supply shortages in 2015.
Ministry staff are closely monitoring river levels and ecosystems and may
upgrade the drought level if the weather continues to have a negative
effect on stream flows and water supply.
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
Water users are also encouraged 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.
Level 4 drought conditions, the highest rating, are determined by factors
including regional stream flows, water storage capacity, ecological
concerns, weather forecasts and impacts on water users. Should conditions
reach Level 4, provincial water managers may exercise their authority to
temporarily suspend short-term water permits or industrial water licences
in affected watersheds.
Further reductions in stream, lake and aquifer levels could lead to water
shortages and affect people, agriculture, industry and fish stocks.
Ministry staff will continue to monitor conditions, work closely with
local governments and key stakeholders, and provide updates as the need
Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility. Many communities in B.C.
are prepared to deal with water supply shortages and low streamflow
conditions by drought management plans and water conservation programs
that are already in place.
B.C. Drought Information:
B.C. Drought Level Map:
B.C. Drought Response Plan (June 2015):
What Can You Do?:
Agriculture Drought Strategies:
Irrigation scheduling techniques and water conservation:
For assistance in developing an irrigation schedule:
Stream flow and precipitation conditions in B.C. are monitored by the
River Forecast Centre –
* Low streamflow bulletins and advisories:
* Current water supply bulletin:
Groundwater levels in provincial observation wells: