WATCH: Weeks of hot dry weather continue to take their toll on Vancouver Island’s waterways and tonight the province is asking people to voluntarily reduce the amount of water they’re using. Much of the B.C. coast is under a level three drought warning. Kendall Hanson reports
Coastal residents are being urged to conserve water as the province announces a level three drought rating from the Alaska border to southern Vancouver Island.
The rating calls for voluntary water-use reductions for residential, agricultural and industrial users from all surface-water and groundwater.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada’s heat warning remains in effect Monday for inland and east Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands.
The forecast high for Port Alberni Monday is 36 degrees Celsius, and the mercury is expected to reach or be near 30 degrees in regions within the heat warning.
The drought rating was issued Monday morning by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
The ministry says staff are keeping a watch on river levels on Vancouver Island that are important fish-bearing streams that are close to critical environmental flow thresholds.
Those include, but are not limited to, the Koksilah, Chemainus, San Juan and Salmon Rivers and the province says maximum water conservation is encouraged.
The ministry says angling closures may go into effect if the high temperatures continue to negatively impact stream flows and water supplies.
If voluntary water use reductions do not keep flows above critical levels, the province says it may consider water use regulations which includes a temporary suspension of water licences or short-term water approvals.
The ministry says residents should limit outdoor watering, take shorter showers, don’t leave taps running and install water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.
Environment Canada says east Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria and the Gulf Islands will see temperatures begin to come down Tuesday as cooler marine air gradually pushes onto the coast, but it will stay hot inland until Wednesday.
You are advised to drink lots of water and find cool indoor locations or shade whenever you are outdoors and never leave people or pets in parked vehicles.
Comox set a new record Sunday by reaching 32.2 degrees Celsius, breaking the old mark of 32.1 degrees in 2003.
A number of B.C. communities broke records Sunday, with the hottest being Lytton, in the Fraser Canyon.
It was 41.4 degrees which smashed the old mark of 40 degrees.