Low water supply projections in the Comox Valley means heightened water restrictions to coincide with BC Hydro’s plan to go below minimum fish habitat flows in the Puntledge River.
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) says Stage 2 restrictions will take effect Monday to its water system, meaning no sprinklers are permitted for lawn or garden watering on Monday, Thursday or Friday.
Even-numbered addresses can water lawns on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6-8 a.m. and 8-10 p.m., while odd-numbered properties will be allowed to water on Wednesdays and Sundays during those times.
The district says residents connected to the Comox Valley water system rely on water from the Puntledge River downstream of the Comox Lake reservoir.
BC Hydro said Tuesday morning its July water supply forecast is showing levels at 57 per cent of normal and if that continues, it will be the lowest water supply forecast in nearly 60 years of its records.
The corporation says with ongoing dry conditions since February, the focus is on summer Chinook in the system, the issue of water for returning fall Chinook and inflows that are continually declining with more dry weather in the forecast.
On Monday morning, hydro will lower the river flow below the minimum fish habitat flow to 14-cubic metres-per-second.
BC Hydro and the CVRD says if dry conditions continue, Stage 3 restrictions may be implemented in August.
In an update on the Campbell River water system, BC Hydro says the water supply forecast in July is 64 per cent of normal of the expected runoff volume for the period of February to September.
Officials say that would also be the lowest runoff in about 60 years of records if the forecast happens.
Starting early Saturday, BC Hydro will move water flow from the John Hart tunnels to Elk Falls Canyon and people are advised to stay away from the river upstream from Elk Falls until August 15.
The move is needed to dewater the tunnels, including the power tunnel, powerhouse turbine inlet areas, and the tailrace tunnel, for final inspections of the new underground facility and other work.
Hydro says Temporary danger safety signage will be put in place at Elk Falls.