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Greater Vernon Water – Water Storage Update

Posted Monday, April 20, 2015

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) is tracking the latest climate information to help forecast water supply levels for the coming year. Snow pack plays an important role in supplying water to fill our reservoirs during spring melt. Snow pack readings were taken by GVW on April 1, 2015, at three monitoring stations near the Duteau Creek Water Reservoirs. No snow was reported at two of the stations, which is unusual for April 1st. Readings at the third station show the snow water equivalent, or water content of the snow, at 77% of average for this time of year. These are unusual readings showing high variability within the watershed. GVW water storage levels in the Duteau Creek Reservoirs are currently above average. However, the current storage levels are similar to those typically seen in May, suggesting that we may start to use our stored water supplies earlier than normal. This could be of concern if the normal precipitation usually received in June is below average.

According to the BC River Forecast Centre, April high elevation snowpack measurements were moderately low (76% of normal) for the Okanagan Basin, which includes the Kalamalka Lake water source. The South Thompson Basin, which includes the Duteau Creek water reservoirs, is at 92% of normal snowpack. The Centre also forecasts below normal stream run-off in the Kalamalka-Wood basins and notes that lower snowpacks in the Okanagan indicate an increased likelihood of low summer flows.

Seasonal forecasts from Environment Canada indicate a high likelihood of above normal temperatures during the period of April to June 2015. High temperatures may increase water demand so GVW reminds customers to use water wisely in light of the low snow pack. Tips on how to irrigate efficiently and maintain an attractive waterwise yard are available online at www.rdno.ca/waterwise.

GVW will continue to monitor climate trends and water supplies. Updates will be reported as they are received in the media and online at www.rdno.ca/water.