Water levels in local reservoirs are well below normal for this time of year, according to Greater Vernon Water.
The utility monitors water levels year-round, but says early spring is a time of particular interest in looking ahead to the area’s summer water supplies.
“The local snowpack is close to normal, but March was relatively dry. Reservoir levels are typically lower just before the spring snowmelt, so staff are actively managing reservoir water outflows, as infrastructure allows, to maintain as much water in storage as possible while preserving stream flows for ecosystem needs,” Greater Vernon Water said in a press release Wednesday.
While a dry month of March has led to low water levels in the three main Duteau Creek reservoirs (Aberdeen, Haddo and Grizzly), the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) says there are a number of variables that could affect water levels heading into the warmer months.
The snowpack is one factor; forecasted precipitation in the spring is another.
Maintaining stored water is key as long-range precipitation forecasts are not favourable. According to Greater Vernon Water, there is a 40 to 50 per cent probability of below-normal spring precipitation this year, which is “concerning” as June is usually the region’s wettest month.
That means now is a good time for locals to conserve as much water as they can.
“These are early predictions, and water levels may change, but it is a good opportunity to check irrigation systems and plumbing for leaks ahead of the summer season,” the press release states. “We can all do our part to use water efficiently and save it for where it is needed most – our farms, forests, and fish.”
For water-saving tips, visit www.rdno.ca/waterwise.