More rainfall is in the forecast this week, as this winter goes down as a wet one, right to the end.
But the rain that so many are tired of is turning into great news for us this summer, as Vancouver Island mountains collect snowpack and reservoirs and rivers fill to save us from a repeat of last year’s drought conditions.
Pressure washing his deck is a job Parker Jefferson would have been afraid to do this time last year.
“No. Last year we were in a winter drought the river was way below normal level, the lake was way below normal,” says Jefferson.
Living next to the Cowichan River, makes him and thousands of residents acutely aware of just how much or in last year’s case little water would be on tap for later in the spring and summer.
“Yeah this year is an abundance of water it’s been really a big difference from last year,” says the Lake Cowichan Resident. “Last year we had about half as much water in the river or less actually. Ever since the beginning of February it’s really picked up. We’ve got way more water than we can hold.”
But if the clouds part long enough, you’ll see snow on Island mountains due to all this winter’s rainfall. Snowpack it’s called that there was zero of last year to stretch communities through the drier summer months.
“It’s a giant refrigerator and it’s like water, free water sitting up there on the hillsides and as it melts in the springtime we collect it,” says Manager of Water Resources for the City of Nanaimo, Bill Sims.
Nanaimo’s snowpack is sitting at about 60 to 70 per cent of where its been historically, but coming off last year’s drought, officials are thankful what’s here is up there at all.
“Makes me a happy man,” says Sims. “I like the rain.”
A sentiment shared in the Cowichan Valley.
“Last year at this time the river was running at 50 cubic metres per second and now its running at 150 cubic metres per second so that’s three times the amount of water,” says Jefferson.
Raising spirits here going into spring that the water shortages of 2015 won’t be as severe this summer. So long as the rains continue, and snow doesn’t melt up there too soon.