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October 27, 2017 9:40 pm

Drought Concerns in Skeena-Nass Regions

Friday, August 12, 2016 @ 5:45 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Province is urging water users in the Skeena and Nass regions to voluntarily reduce their water use by 30 percent.

The government says it’s the result of prolonged dry conditions along the coast which has moved both regions to Level 3 hydrological drought conditions.

“Ministry staff are closely monitoring river and well levels and may upgrade the drought level if the weather continues to have a negative effect on stream flows and water supply,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“Residential, agricultural and industrial users within municipalities and the regional district are encouraged to observe local water conservation bylaws. Water user’s are also encouraged to ensure that water intakes are screened to prevent fish from being pulled into water systems as water levels drop.”

In light of today’s drought rating, the government has provided the following water conservation tips:

At home:

  • Limit outdoor watering
  • Don’t water during the heat of the day or when it’s windy
  • Consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation
  • Take shorter showers
  • Don’t leave the tap running
  • Install water-efficient showerheads and toilets

On the farm:

  • Implement an irrigation-scheduling program using real-time weather data
  • Schedule irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity
  • Focus on high-value crops and livestock

For industry:

  • Reduce on-essential usage.
  • Recycle water used in industrial operations
  • Use water-efficient methods and equipment

Valerie Cameron is the ministries water manager and is coordinating the Province’s drought response. She acknowledges drought conditions for these regions are somewhat unusual.

“It is one of the wetter parts of the province so it’s of note that it’s up to Level 3 but with the information that’s been provided by Environment Canada and the River Forecast Centre, Environment Canada has been good at describing the precipitation,” she says.

“And the thing that’s been quite notable in the last 30 days but really over the last 90 days is that precipitation levels along the whole coast have actually been quite a bit lower than normal.”


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