Low river levels and Level 3 drought prompts move to avoid Stage 3 watering restrictions.
As river flows on southern Vancouver Island drop well below normal levels for this time of year the Regional District of Nanaimo is requesting resident begin to voluntarily conserve water.
“River flows are about 40% of normal right now so that is a cause of concern,” Nanaimo Regional District Chair Bill Veenhof told CHEK News.
Some rivers are even flowing at 20% of normal.
The snowpack that looked so promising this winter, has melted quickly in the warm spring temperatures. Even though the RDN’s two reservoirs at Jump Lake and the Arrowsmith Dam are at 100% capacity, precipitation as been 40% of the average so far this spring.
The ground is dry and people are already using more water.
“The residents are using more water than they were last year at this time, which makes sense because people are watering their lawns because the rains stopped earlier than they did last year,” said Veenhof.
Residents have been under Stage 2 restrictions since May 1st and now the RDN is asking for water conservation or they could see Stage 3 or 4.
“What we’ll be asking is people take voluntary measures to reduce water use particularly out of doors. Watering gardens washing cars, watering lawns that kind of thing,” added Veenhof.
The Province put put out a rare notice Monday, indicating Vancouver Island from Tofino and Campbell River southward are already experiencing Level 3 drought conditions and that residents, industry, farmers and municipalities should limit their water consumption by 30 per cent.
BC only has four levels of drought, with four being the driest.