Heavy rain over Saturday and Sunday brought a helpful boost to the Comox Valley’s water system as levels remain below normal.
According to BC Hydro stakeholder engagement advisor Stephen Watson, the February to September water supply forecast has come down since their initial forecast of 96 per cent normal.
This is because of the very dry February and March that saw about half normal rainfall, according to Environment Canada.
However, last weekend’s rain did provide a nice boost to help bring levels back up a bit.
“We were hoping to get about 100 millimetres of rain fall in the upper Puntledge River watershed and that’s what transpired which is great,” said Watson. “So, we had nice water inflows into the Comox Lake reservoir and since last Thursday it has increased about one metre.”
Watson says, however, the water supply forecast is still down at around 78 per cent of normal. He adds the snowpack is still below normal at 75 per cent, but things can change throughout spring.
The Campbell River system on the other hand did not get the same amount of water as the Puntledge got over the weekend and the reservoir level stayed much the same at around 71 per cent of normal.
“We’re in conservation mode on the Campbell River system in terms of river flows so we’ll hope to have that increase over the next month or two,” said Watson. “Most importantly are the fish habitat flows in lower Campbell River as we consider the salmon out migration that will be taking place this spring.”
Despite the lower-than-normal water flows, Watson adds there isn’t a concern about any loss of power because B.C. is on an integrated power grid.
“It’s just more of issue of managing the system. We’ve been through this, this isn’t uncommon now and I think people are getting used to the conditions that we’re seeing in the spring and summer periods,” said Watson.
Watson adds there is more rainfall predicted for this weekend.