Okanagan Drought Bulletin – June 11, 2019

OKANAGAN MOVED TO DROUGHT LEVEL 2 AS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE

Based on snowpack conditions, timing of snowmelt, and forecasted summer conditions, the B.C. Government has elevated the Okanagan to a Level 2 drought rating.

Along with 2015 and 2016, this year is amongst the lowest snowpacks observed in B.C. over the past 40 years. Persistent warm weather and limited precipitation in May brought the Okanagan’s snowpack to 4% of normal as of June 1. With diminished snowpacks and early melt, there is an increased likelihood of low flow conditions this summer. South of the border, the governor has expanded Washington State’s drought declaration to cover large portions of the state. This includes the southern half of the Canada/U.S. Okanagan/Similkameen Basin.

Local drought stages are set by water suppliers and do not necessarily match provincial drought levels. All water suppliers should have an up-to-date drought management plan with clear triggers for watering restrictions and other conservation measures and communication activities. The OBWB has templates and other resources to support your drought-planning efforts. Contact kellie.garcia@obwb.ca or 250-469-6321.

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