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BC Hydro predicting below-average water levels at Arrow Lakes Reservoir

Reservoir expected to peak in mid-June
The Arrow Lakes Reservoir as seen above Sidmouth last fall. Photo: Geoffrey Wilson

With the West Kootenay snow pack at 72 per cent of normal as of April 1, and below-average snowpack prevailing throughout the Columbia Basin, BC Hydro is warning that water levels in the Arrow Lakes Reservoir will be low again this summer.

Based on the most recent data available, BC Hydro is anticipating that Arrow Lakes Reservoir may peak around 433.4-to-435.9 metres (1,422-to-1,430 feet) around mid-June before starting to decline.

“We are very aware of the impacts associated with low Arrow Lakes Reservoir levels over each season,” said BC Hydro in an April 15 release.

“BC Hydro will continue to consider options, when available, to support higher Arrow Lakes Reservoir levels this summer.”

BC Hydro says that the reservoir’s water levels will remain above its water licence limit of 420 metres.

The reservoir reached its latest minimum elevation of 422.76 metres on Jan. 11, 2024 and latest high elevation of 439.06 on June 23, 2023.

BC Hydro cautioned this is just a preliminary forecast that can change at any time.

“This forecast is based on several factors, including snowpack to date, expected spring and summer rainfall, expected upstream generation at Mica and Revelstoke, and Columbia River Treaty requirements.”

BC Hydro will be publishing a Spring Columbia River Operations Summary in the next several weeks, which will provide more details on this year’s operations across the Columbia Basin.

Further information about operations during dry conditions are also available in the Low Levels in Arrow Lakes Reservoir Information Session Question and Answer Report that was published by the Province of BC last fall. The report is available online at


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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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