Fraser Valley/Victoria – Drought is affecting most of southern British Columbia and the central Interior due to very low rainfall, exacerbated by the recent extreme heat wave.
Water scarcity and low flows are affecting Vancouver Island, the entire Thompson-Nicola region, the Cariboo, Shuswap and Okanagan.
Most of eastern Vancouver Island, as well as the Salmon River watershed in the Shuswap, are now at Drought Level 4. In these areas, adverse impacts on fish are now very likely.
Areas under Drought Level 3 include: the Nicola and Coldwater watersheds near Merritt, the Kettle River watershed near Grand Forks, western Vancouver Island, the Middle Fraser Basin/ Cariboo region and the entire Okanagan Valley.
Fourteen other basins in B.C. are either under Drought Level 2 or Drought Level 1. The Fraser Valley remains at 1 for the time being.
British Columbia ranks drought levels from 0 to 5, with Drought Level 5 rated as the most severe with adverse impacts to socio-economic or ecosystem values being almost certain.
Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility and is being urged for all areas affected by drought. Residential, agricultural and industrial water users in affected areas must observe all water conservation bylaws, watering restrictions and advice from their local government, irrigation district or water utility.
Irrigators and water licensees in watersheds with water scarcity should prepare and plan in case additional targeted water restrictions or temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act are required.