Rain helping fix lake levels

The gloomy, wet July the Okanagan may feel like a bummer to some, but not Shaun Reimer. 

He manages the Penticton dam and oversees Okanagan Lake water levels, and to him, the rain has been welcome. 

"We're a lot better off than we were in the first week of June," Reimer said. 

In early June, lake levels were well below targets that Reimer likes to maintain to ensure there is enough water for all the downstream needs and prevent drought conditions. 

"Okanagan Lake peaked and it was about 31 centimetres below our full pool target," Reimer said. "But because the rain has been adding a lot of inflow there, we've had an opportunity to catch up."

As of Friday, the lake had moved up to only about 10 or 11 centimetres below the end of July target. But that's not cause to relax – Reimer said a few hot, sunny days could evaporate off a lot of that rainfall pretty quickly. 

"We're still basically looking at conservation flows, trying to hold as much water back as we can while still having to supply some water for the fish and irrigation and the like," he explained. "It's still a dry year."

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