Drought level ratings on Vancouver Island have been elevated to the highest level. File photo

Province elevates Vancouver Island to highest drought rating

Extremely dry conditions have pushed many parts of B.C. to a level 4 drought rating

Record-breaking hot and dry conditions have elevated drought levels on Vancouver Island.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has increased the ratings, with the most affected areas being Northern B.C. and coastal B.C.

The province has set the highest rating, level 4, to Vancouver Island, the Northeast, Northwest and Stikine and Skeena-Nass areas.

ALSO READ: Province warns Vancouver Island of expanded drought warning

Level 4 ratings signify extremely dry conditions, with an inefficient supply of water to meet socio-economic and ecosystem needs. While some cities around the province are levels 2 and 3 none are sitting at a level 1.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has elevated drought levels across B.C., including Vancouver Island which is now at a level 4 rating. File contributed.

The province is encouraging maximum voluntary water conservation and offering tips such as limiting outdoor watering, taking shorter showers, ensuring that the tap is not left running and making sure irrigation and plumbing systems aren’t leaking.

While not currently in effect, the province does have the ability to regulate water usage, including temporary suspension of water license or short-term water approvals to protect flows for fish and priority water users if it becomes necessary.

ALSO READ: Canada’s cattle producers tightening their belts as drought diminishes pastures

The drought is contributing to forest fires, as well as the water levels of local streams and tributaries, with many streams now at record lows. This is affecting fish, who may become stranded in shallow pools. Angling closures are in effect for the Horsefly and Kettle Rivers to reduce stress on fish, and to monitor conditions.

While provincial warnings are out, municipal legislation will differ based on local water supply and demand, and water storage options. For the Capital Regional District (CRD), as of August Greater Victoria was set at a Stage 1 water conservation. This means it is not a high level of conservation, though residents are encouraged to reduce outdoor water use for indoor use and fire protection.

At the beginning of August, the CRD water reservoir was 76 per cent full, with a projection for levels to drop to 60 per cent in the late fall.

For more information on water conservation, you can head to the Government of B.C. website and search under environmental protection and sustainability.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ladysmith business recognized for supporting diversity in the workplace

Ladysmith Home Hardware, Ladysmith Pharmasave, LRCA, and Maya Norte saluted

Editorial: Looking back at windstorm helps us prepare for next time

BC Hydro says it was the most destructive storm in its history

Competition offers $2,000 to Ladysmith and area playwright

Yellow Point Drama Group continues focus on supporting and nurturing local arts scene in 2019

Editorial: Federal byelection, if it happens, is no reason for voter fatigue

If indeed a byelection is called to choose a Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, we might as well embrace it

Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Most Read