Government of B.C. has announced a Level 3 drought rating for the North Thompson Region

Water conservation urged for North Thompson with weather conditions expected to remain warm and dry

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

supplies.

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

arises.

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.

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

For assistance in developing an irrigation schedule:

http://ag-calc.irrigationbc.com/

Stream flow and precipitation conditions in B.C. are monitored by the

River Forecast Centre –

* Low streamflow bulletins and advisories:

http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/lowflow/index.htm

* Current water supply bulletin:

http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/bulletins/watersupply/current.htm

Groundwater levels in provincial observation wells:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/data_searches/obswell/map/obsWells.html