Water supply at the dam low, will increase soon
Buttle Lake Boat Ramp (Supplied by Stephen Watson, BC Hydro)
Water supply at the John Hart dam continues to be low.
The late winter, spring and summer inflows have all been lower than normal. The record heat from the summer also melted and depleted snowpacks earlier than normal, which contributed to the dry conditions.
BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson says inflows to the system have been below 20 cubic metres per second (m3/s) for the last month as water has been released down the falls for fish habitat.
“Inflows are expected to go up slightly with some modest rain over the next few days and then potentially drop down again,” Watson said.
He adds the combined water supply observations and forecast for the February to end of September period is the lowest water supply year in 57 years.
The dry conditions at the watershed meant that over the summer, the water level at the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake and the Lower Campbell Reservoir/McIvor Lake were also lower than expected. Currently, the water sits at 216.25 metres.
Over the summer, the Upper Campbell Reservoir sat between 216.3 and 216.9 metres. Watson says it was low but better than expected, thanks to a wet July and a good rain event on August 1st.
The Lower Campbell Reservoir is now at 176.15 metres and has fluctuated between 175.9 and 176.5 metres. But moving into fall and winter, the Campbell River reservoirs’ levels will move down to prepare for rain events and potential flood risk management operations.