From spring flooding to drought conditions in the Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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From spring flooding to drought conditions in the Okanagan

August 23, 2017 - 8:00 PM

OKANAGAN - Earlier this year there was historic flooding in the Okanagan but now officials concerned about building drought conditions are asking residents to reduce their water use.

On July 20, the Province declared a Drought Level 2 for the Okanagan and the valley is still at that level.

“It does seem wild and crazy to have a historic flood and then drought in the same year, but we said it was a potential and here we are,” Corinne Jackson with the Okanagan Basin Water Board says. “It wasn’t long after the flooding that we were aware the hills were dry and there were fires already in June.”

Due to the lack of rain and hot weather over the past few months the Province is asking water utility providers to reduce their water use by 10 per cent.

Although most Okanagan water purveyors are reporting regular supply conditions, both Kelowna and Greater Vernon Water are at a stage 1 restrictions, meaning residents can only water their yards on certain days of the week.

Jackson says Vaseux Creek and Inkaneep Creek are also experiencing low stream flows.

The hot, dry weather isn’t expected to end anytime soon, she says. Above average temperatures are forecast well into October.

Although the most recent bulletin is targeting water providers, Jackson says residents can also play their part in conserving water.

“Twenty-four per cent of the Okanagan’s water use goes towards outdoor residential use - and most of that is watering lawns,” Jackson says. “We’re just asking residents to use water most effectively. Water between dusk and dawn and not in heat of day, keep your grass long, and water your plants, not the pavement - all of us can be more water wise.”

Find out what more you can do to conserve water here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2017

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