Drought levels raised in Fort Nelson, conservation encouraged

James Marshall
June 10, 2019

The drought rating means conditions are very dry, prompting a request for voluntary reductions of water use by residents, on farms and by industry.

The province says while some streams have adequate flows, especially those backed by storage reservoirs, several important salmon streams are approaching critical flow thresholds for the ecosystem and fish, including juvenile trout and salmon.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has raised concerns about low snow levels in regions around the province, including the Upper Fraser West, Nechacko, Lower Fraser, East Kootenay, Okanagan, Boundary, Similkameen, South Coast, Vancouver Island and Skeena-Nass.

If voluntary use reductions aren't enough, the province says it will consider regulating water usage.

You can find out more information on the government's drought information portal.

Warm, dry temperatures have prompted the province to announce a Level 3 drought for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Ministry staff is now contacting water users to encourage water conservation and to educate users about potential water regulation, the ministry said.

The actions could include the temporary suspension of water licenses or short-term water approvals until levels are returned to minimum critical levels.

Some of the ways homeowners can conserve water include limiting outdoor watering, planting drought-tolerant vegetation and taking shorter showers.

Officials are asking industrial water users to reduce non-essential water use, recycle water when it's possible and use water-efficient methods and equipment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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