Short winter, dry April force Lake Country to dip into water reservoirs a month early - InfoNews

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Short winter, dry April force Lake Country to dip into water reservoirs a month early

Wood Lake in Lake Country.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/District of Lake Country
May 07, 2019 - 6:30 PM

LAKE COUNTRY - The Okanagan experienced a light winter and a dry April this year and the impact is starting to be felt.

The District of Lake Country is letting residents know they've had to start tapping into their water reservoirs a month earlier than expected due to the quickly melting snowpack.

It's not an alarm-bell situation yet, but it could be the canary in the coal mine for surrounding districts.

Kiel Wilkie, engineering technician with the District, said Lake Country received 30 per cent less snowpack than average this year. While he said that fact itself isn't a major cause for concern, the dry temperature and lack of rain in April made things worse.

Wilkie said the snowpack usually melts in the District's reservoirs in mid-to-late April, creating an overflow. In most years, the District can use this overflow until June before they have to tap into the actual reservoirs.

But this year saw a particularly dry April in the Okanagan, and a faster snow melt. Wilkie noted their reservoirs are full at the moment and he's hopeful May showers could ease their burden.

If the dry spell continues, the District coud implement water restrictions, which are broken into three stages based on the amount of water in the reservoirs. 

Wilkie said the District isn't close to restrictions yet and he's asking residents to simply be conscious of their water use.

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