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Vernon  

Water restrictions coming?

North Okanagan residents may have to turn off the taps this year.

Forecasts for a hot summer, combined with a low snowpack and a low precipitation expected for June could lead to a change in water restrictions for the Greater Vernon Water (GVW) system.

While the Duteau Creek water reservoirs are currently at average levels, a low snowpack and a dry spring has reduced the inflow of water into the storage reservoirs, while warm weather in the valley has increased the water demand.

The water utility relies on good water storage levels to get through to the following spring and the reservoirs have not filled for the first time since 2009-2010.

The Duteau Creek Watershed is the source of water for Vernon, Coldstream, and Electoral Areas B and C.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is working to minimize the amount of water drawn from the Duteau Creek reservoirs by drawing more water from Kalamalka Lake. Efforts to interconnect water sources and improve infrastructure over the past decade have helped to manage drought impacts on the community.  

“While it is early in the season, we want to alert people that water restrictions may be on the horizon, especially if we do not get the usual June rains,” said Renee Clark, water quality manager, RDNO.

“We all need to work together and use water efficiently since there are early warning signs heading into the summer with low water storage. Efforts to conserve now will put us into a better position for the summer.”

RDNO staff will be monitoring weather conditions, reservoir levels, and customer water demand on a weekly basis to assess whether higher water restrictions are necessary.



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