Disturbingly low water levels in B.C. lake and rivers may signal drought to come, say experts
Low water levels have created “acres and acres” of sandy beach at Harrison Lake, while boaters have begun marking new hazards that are now uncovered in the shallow water.
Harrison is one of several B.C. lakes and rivers with “much below normal” water flows compared to historical averages for early April, according to Water Survey of Canada data.
While snowmelt and spring rain could quickly turn around a trend that is looking increasingly ominous, there are signs B.C. could continue to see unusual weather and possibly drought in the months to come, with implications for forests, fish and farms.
In a statement, the Ministry of Forests said conditions in the fall and winter “set up extremely low river levels in many regions of the province.” The dry conditions, along with a lower snowpack in some regions, could impact B.C.’s “long-range drought outlook.”
“In areas, groundwater recharge has been reduced and may lead to lingering or longer-term drought implication into the summer, depending on spring (and) summer weather,” said the statement.
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