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Dry weather behind coming low dam levels

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CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – BC Hydro is predicting low water levels at the John Hart dam this summer.

This is because of the dry weather conditions the area has seen since February.

BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says this is the lowest water supply forecast in 60 years.

There has been record low rainfall in May but water inflows from snowmelt has helped the Campbell River watershed a little bit.

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On average, the system sees 559 mm of precipitation from February to May. This year, there has only been 268 mm in the same period.

The utility has been reducing water flows to help save water. Currently, the water flow is at 40 m3/s (cubic metres per second), which is below the preferred 80 m3/s that keeps fish habitat fully covered.

Water inflows into the Campbell River system are currently at 40 to 70 m3/s, but will be dropping as the snowpack dries up.

Watson adds despite conservation efforts, summer recreation levels will also be lower than normal. Unless there is a significant change in the weather, the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake level may only hit a high of 216.6 metres before slowly going lower.

The Lower Campbell Reservoir/McIvor Lake may hit 176.5 metres, which is also lower than average.

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