Drought forces B.C. to ask Kamloops, Okanagan residents to reduce water use by 30% | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Drought forces B.C. to ask Kamloops, Okanagan residents to reduce water use by 30%

July 22, 2021 - 2:23 PM

Residents in the Thompson-Okanagan are being asked by the province to reduce their water consumption by 30%.

Very low spring rainfall, exacerbated by extreme heat and record dry conditions in June and early July, is causing water scarcity and low flows, according to a Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development press release.

In the Thompson-Okanagan region, all water users are asked to reduce their water use by 30%. Areas subject to a request for further curtailment will receive notices via email or mail.

The Salmon River watershed, which drains into Shuswap Lake, the Kettle River, the Nicola watershed and the Coldwater River watersheds are currently at drought level four. In these areas, significant, adverse impacts on fish are very likely, and maximum water conservation for all water users and licensees is urged, the ministry said.

Droughts are measured on a scale of one to five, five is the most severe, with adverse impacts to socioeconomic or ecosystem values being almost certain.

Areas under a level three drought include the watersheds of the West Kootenays and the lower Columbia River, the North and South Thompson rivers and their watersheds and the Okanagan Valley.

Many other areas in the central and southern Interior are under a level one or two drought.

"Conserving water resources is also important in these areas, to reduce the risk of adverse impacts to water users or the environment," the ministry said.

Freshwater angling closures are also in place in all streams in Management Unit 8 that are experiencing drought level three or higher, due to increased stress to fish caused by drought.

Residential, agricultural and industrial water users in areas affected by drought should observe all water conservation bylaws, watering restrictions and advice from their local government, irrigation district or water utility.

Irrigators, water licensees and water users in watersheds experiencing water scarcity should prepare and plan in case additional targeted local water restrictions or provincial temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act are required as the summer progresses.

For more information check out maps and tables at the province's drought portal here.

For more information on the drought in B.C. go here.

For more information on sportfishing regulations and angling closures in B.C. go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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