Level 3 Drought and angling restrictions announced

A number of environmental factors have resulted in the province announcing a level 3 drought rating for the Kootenay Columbia region.

  • Aug. 20, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Ryan Willman

Arrow Lakes News

A number of environmental factors have resulted in the province announcing a level 3 drought rating for the Kootenay Columbia region. This includes an angling closure of all streams in the Kootenay region effective August 15 through to September 15. As of this publication, the Arrow Lakes has no angling restrictions, please check www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/regulations for updates.

Level 3 drought conditions call for voluntary water-use reductions from all municipal, agricultural and industrial users. Reservoir stores are in place to support municipalities and regional districts, however, all water users are encouraged to observe local water conservation bylaws to prolong water supplies. The angling closure is in response to ongoing warm water temperatures and low flows and is enabled through the B.C. Sport Fishing Regulations of the federal Fisheries Act. Angling closures are not always directly related to drought, but this season’s low stream flows and high temperatures have necessitated a suspension of fishing to reduce the stress on fish populations.

Drought conditions are determined by factors including regional stream flows, water storage capacity, ecological concerns, weather forecasting and impacts on water users. The highest drought rating is a level 4, which, if declared could result in provincial water managers exercising their authority to temporarily suspend short-term water permits or industrial water licenses in affected watersheds.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations are closely monitoring river levels and ecosystems and are anticipating significant water supply shortages in 2015.  In response, the B.C. government has collaborated with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to complete a B.C. Drought Response Plan, which outlines actions to be taken proceeding, during, and immediately following a drought to reduce its impacts.

The B.C. government is reminding the public that water conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

The Village of Nakusp is committed to operating and maintaining safe and effective water services for its residents with trained and certified staff members. Chief Administrative Officer, Laurie Taylor assures that “water is a priority for the village” and there has been several projects recently approved that are designed to help improve the water distribution system and reduce water loss.

The village has lawn and garden watering restrictions in place from May to September to help conserve water use. “At this time the village will not be looking at additional water conservation actions in response to the drought announcement” Taylor confirmed.

Local lawn and garden watering restrictions can be viewed on the Village of Nakusp website, nakusp.com/municipal-services/utilities/water.

 

Information on B.C. Drought can be accessed at, www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought.