August 05, 2015 - 2:58 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Drought conditions are worsening in the region, enough according to the government to increase the drought rating for both the Okanagan and North Thompson regions by one level.
The Okanagan Region is now enduring level four drought conditions while the North Thompson is facing level three, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In a press release, the ministry says this now brings the Okanagan to the same classification as the the South Thompson, Similkameen, Kettle and Skagit areas which were set at a level four on July 27.
At the same time, it took the additional step of banning fishing on the Okanagan River between Okanagan Lake and Osoyoos because of warm water.
The government is urging all water users in these areas to maximize water conservation efforts and says a level four drought advisory frees up regional water managers to take additional regulatory action if needed. That could include suspension or short-term managment of water licenses in certain watersheds if necessary.
In the North Thompson, the new drought rating means water providers will be called on to voluntarily reduce consumption by 30 per cent.
The fishing ban on the Okanagan River main stem takes effect Thursday, Aug. 6 and runs through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Lake fishing is not affected by the order while an estimated 40 other at-risk rivers and streams in the area have already been closed to anglers in July.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015