Continuing hot and dry conditions have forced the province to elevate drought levels throughout B.C., and Vancouver Island is among the most affected areas.
The province has set a level four drought rating for all of the Island, as well as the Northeast, Northwest, Stikine and Skeena-Nass areas.
The province is strongly urging maximum water conservation to maintain water supplies and says it has the ability to regulate water usage, including suspensions of temporary water licences or short-term water approvals.
Haida Gwaii and much of B.C.’s central coast and the lower mainland are under a level three drought rating, and no areas remain at level one.
The province says fish and aquatic ecosystems are at risk because of droughts, and fish can become stranded in pools of water and exposed to potentially fatal high temperatures.
The government says the dry conditions have also triggered widespread wildfires and residents are told that use of water from streams, lakes and aquifers to extinguish a fire may be necessary and authorized under the Water Sustainability Act.
The province advises you to follow local water restrictions, limit outdoor watering, check for leaks in irrigation and plumbing systems, use water efficient appliances, take shorter showers and don’t leave taps running.