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Kelowna  

Okanagan Lake levels plateau 40 cm short of target 'full pool'

Lake levels start to fall

The water level of Okanagan Lake has plateaued well below the provincial government’s “full pool” target.

The lake has ended its spring rise over the past several days, and in fact, fell slightly the past 24 hours. The lake sits at 342.049 metres above sea level, more than 43 centimetres below the full pool target of 342.48.

Parts of the Okanagan saw its driest spring on record, a trend that has continued in the first half of June. The federal government declared a stage 2 severe drought in the Kelowna and Vernon areas earlier this month.

In response, lake outflows at the Penticton dam have been slowed to a trickle.

The Penticton Channel is now flowing at just 18.5 cubic metres per second, just a fraction of the 70 cubic metres per second that it was moving at the same time last year.

In late May, Penticton dam manager Shaun Reimer told Castanet above average snowpacks led him to let more water out of the lake in the late winter and early spring. But with the record-breaking dry weather, inflows into the lake dropped off quickly as snowpacks melted without rain to replace them.

The City of Kelowna is also already urging people to conserve water. Light rain is expected to fall on the region later today.

You can track Okanagan Lake levels daily on Castanet here.



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