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The Province of BC is urging people across British Columbia to conserve water as current forecasts suggest much of the province will experience drought conditions through the summer months.
While the recent rains have provided relief for some regions in B.C., it has not been enough to overcome the limited rain and precipitation from previous months. The increased flows that are present in some streams and river systems are likely to be shortlived.
Everyone is responsible to do their part to conserve water and reduce the risk of negatively affecting the environment and other water users. Water suppliers and vendors are also asked to ensure that they have an adequate water supply until rainfall can improve conditions.
The Province continues to work with communities in preparation for the summer. 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 support drinking water for communities and avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems. Provincial staff are monitoring the situation and working to balance water use with environmental flow needs.
People and businesses in affected areas should reduce water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from their local or regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district.
Areas currently under Drought Level 4 include: the East Peace, Fort Nelson, and Finlay areas. The majority of other watershed basins in B.C. are in Drought Levels 2 or 3.
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 use to extinguish a fire or contain and control the spread of a fire is exempt from a provincial water licence or approval. However, anyone under an evacuation order due to wildfire must leave the area immediately.
For some general water conservation tips and quick facts, please visit People, businesses urged to conserve water | BC Gov News.