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As 55 Day Record Breaking Drought Ends, Concerns Remain About Water Scarcity Conditions – Water Use Legislation Remains An Option

Chilliwack – The 55 Day Record Breaking Drought for Chilliwack is over. But concerns remain about water scarcity conditions. Lawn watering restrictions end September 30.

First, the local drought numbers from Roger Pannett , Environment Canada:

 The 55-day record breaking drought ended on September 28/22 with light showers.

However, here in Chilliwack at the Environment Canada weather station the rainfall was only 0.9 mm! ( Previous longest drought was the 51-day drought July 7 to August 26,1951.)  September 28th rainfall was also very light throughout the Lower Mainland & beyond. Vancouver-: 0.2 mm. Pitt Meadows.-0.0 mm .Abbotsford:- 0.3 mm. Agassiz-: 1.9 mm .Hope-: 0.8mm.

Here in Chilliwack, it is the driest September since record’s commenced in 1879. Only 0.9 mm.! Previous driest September, 6.6 mm in 2012. Average September rainfall is 112.7 mm on 11 days. 

In past 73 days only 7.7 mm (6.8 mm on August 3/22, 0.9 mm on September 28/22.) 

September daily mean temperatures, 5 oC to record breaking 7.75 oC above normal with humidity’s down at 16%.

For next few days many dry ,sunny days forecasted with low humidity!  All-time record-breaking October temperatures are likely! ( Temperatures predicted to exceed the present all time maximum October temperature of 27.8 oC  on October 6th,1952!) 

Pannett has been very coval about the lifting of the campfire ban. He says it not the best timing and may lead to an extended wildfire season.

From the Province:

Drought and water scarcity continues to affect the west coast, south coast and northeastern areas of B.C. that have experienced little to no rainfall over the past five weeks with continued dry weather in the forecast.

Areas under Drought Level 4 include the Fort Nelson basin, the Sunshine Coast basin, Lower Mainland basin, and the east and west Vancouver Island basins. At Drought Level 4, conditions are extremely dry and adverse effects to socio-economic or ecosystem values are likely.

Drought is a recurring feature of climate that involves reduced precipitation, such as rain, during an extended period, resulting in a water shortage.

British Columbia ranks drought levels from 0 to 5, with Drought Level 5 rated as the most severe with adverse effects to socio-economic or ecosystem values being almost certain.

All water users in drought levels 3 and 4 are asked to reduce their water use whenever possible. All British Columbians need to observe watering restrictions from their local or regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district. For information, contact the local or regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district of where you reside.

If conservation measures do not achieve sufficient results and drought conditions worsen, temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act may be issued to water licensees to avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems. Provincial staff are monitoring the situation and working to balance water use with environmental flow needs.

Note that water use to extinguish a fire or contain and control the spread of a fire remains exempt from a provincial water licence or approval. However, if you are under an evacuation order due to wildfire, you must leave the area immediately.

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