Thompson-Okanagan region asked to cut water consumption by 30% amid ongoing drought

·1 min read
The B.C. government says areas categorized as under Level 4 drought conditions, on a scale of  0 to 5 with Level 5 being the most severe, include the Salmon, Coldwater and Nicola rivers in the Thompson-Okanagan; the Kettle River, Lower Columbia River basin and West Kootenay basin; as well as the Eastern Vancouver Island basin and Gulf Islands. (Michael McArthur/CBC - image credit)
The B.C. government says areas categorized as under Level 4 drought conditions, on a scale of 0 to 5 with Level 5 being the most severe, include the Salmon, Coldwater and Nicola rivers in the Thompson-Okanagan; the Kettle River, Lower Columbia River basin and West Kootenay basin; as well as the Eastern Vancouver Island basin and Gulf Islands. (Michael McArthur/CBC - image credit)

The B.C. government is asking people in the Thompson-Okanagan region to reduce their water use by 30 per cent during ongoing drought conditions in many parts of the southern and central Interior.

The province said Thursday in a written statement very low spring rainfall and extreme heat conditions in June and July have caused water scarcity and low flows.

It said some areas may receive notices via email or mail to curtail their consumption even further.

Freshwater fishing is already closed in many areas due to the added stress to fish from low flows and high water temperatures.

Adverse impacts are likely on people, fish and ecosystems in several areas that are already under Level 4 drought restrictions, the second-most severe on B.C.'s scale of zero to five.

The areas covered include the Salmon, Coldwater and Nicola rivers in the Thompson-Okanagan; the Kettle River, Lower Columbia River basin and West Kootenay basin.

The Eastern Vancouver Island basin and Gulf Islands are also under Level 4 drought restrictions.

All water users in affected areas need to reduce their water use wherever possible and observe all local restrictions, the statement said.

If conservation goals aren't met and drought conditions worsen, temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act may be issued to holders of water licensees, to avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems, it said.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting