Drought conditions are affecting many streams and rivers across the southern half of the province, resulting in very low water flows, particularly in the south Okanagan and Vancouver Island regions.
The Coldwater River watershed near Merritt is at Drought Level 4 (extremely dry) and Eastern Vancouver Island is at Drought Level 3 (very dry). Drought condition maps throughout B.C. can be accessed at the provincial drought portal (link to portal below).
Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility. Maximum water conservation is being urged for all areas where low flows are approaching a critical environmental flow threshold for ecosystems and fish. 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.
General water conservation tips:
- Limit outdoor watering.
- Do not water during the heat of the day or when it is windy.
- Consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation.
- Take shorter showers.
- Do not leave taps running.
- Install water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.
On the farm:
- Implement an irrigation scheduling program using real-time weather data.
- Schedule irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity.
- Improve water system efficiencies and check for leaks.
- Focus on high-value crops and livestock.
- Reduce non-essential water use.
- Recycle water used in industrial operations.
- Use water-efficient methods and equipment.
Drought portal (maps, tables):
Freshwater sportfishing regulations and angling closures: