Greater Vernon Water – Water Storage Update

Posted Friday, March 13, 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 March 1, 2015, at three monitoring stations near the Duteau Creek Water Reservoirs. These readings show the snow water equivalent, or water content of the snow, at 30%-114% of average for this time of year. These are unusual readings showing high variability within the watershed. These results are comparable to sites in neighbouring watersheds, Oyama Lake and Postill, which show a range of 53%-86% of average snow water content.

According to the BC River Forecast Centre, March high elevation snowpack measurements were at 85% of normal for the Okanagan Basin, which includes our Kalamalka Lake water source. The South Thompson Basin, which includes the Duteau Creek water reservoirs, is at 91% of normal. The Centre also forecasts below normal stream run-off in the Okanagan and Kalamalka-Wood basins. The combined results from GVW and the BC River Forecast Centre indicate a slightly below average snow pack. GVW water storage levels in the Duteau Creek Reservoirs are currently above average. The current levels are similar to levels normally seen in mid-April. Low flows are expected to occur earlier than normal this year and low flows may occur in the summer unless significant rainfall occurs.

The Centre also reports that seasonal forecasts from Environment Canada indicate a high likelihood of above normal temperatures during the period of March to May 2015. This may increase water demand so GVW reminds customers to use water wisely. Tips on how to irrigate efficiently and maintain a 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. For further information, please check online at www.rdno.ca/water.