Low snowpacks bring threat of drought to British Columbia



Snowpack and Water Supply Bulletin

VICTORIA – Environment Minister Barry Penner says there has been a decrease in snowpacks across the province over the past two months, following the warm and dry January and February.

Barry penner - minister of environment (120p)“I want to give advance notice to local governments, to individuals as well as industry, that we may have some water supply challenges this summer — and it's a good time to start looking at ways we can reduce our consumption over the summer months,” Penner said.


El Niño produces warm and dry conditions

Weather across B.C. over the past two months has been dominated by the effects of a moderate to strong El Niño, producing warm and dry conditions. For some locations in B.C., the January and/or February average temperature was the warmest on record, or close to the warmest on record.

The South Coast and Vancouver Island received near normal precipitation during January and February, but most of the rest of the province has been dry.


Time running out for snowpack to accumulate

Snowpacks range from 65 per cent to 95 per cent of normal, according to a bulletin issued by the ministry's river forecast centre. By this date, generally about 80 per cent of the B.C. mountain snowpack has accumulated, and there is only four to six weeks of winter remaining to accumulate additional snow. 

To learn more, click on Ministry of Environment Snowpack and Water Supply Bulletin issued on March 8, 2010.


Drought Response Planning Workshops

The Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and Lands, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are hosting four drought response workshops in March 2010. These workshops are being delivered a day ahead or after Water Act Modernization workshops.

To learn more, click on Province of British Columbia invites participation in Drought Response Planning Workshops.


Posted March 2010