Source: Town of Oliver – annual water system report
Irrigation technology has seen improvements over the years for ground crops, orchards and vineyards; this has had a significant change on the water demand and peak demand decreases.
Irrigation practices and water conservation through these practices have been the major influence on the change in water demand; this includes the final twinning stages of the water system in 2014. The other major contributing factor for irrigating is weather and precipitation. In 2015, The South Okanagan was declared, by the government of BC, a drought level 4.
In 2016, the South Okanagan did not reach a drought level 4, instead it had a normal snowpack season, and was considered a “dry” year, but did not see the same level of drought as 2015. In 2017, above normal snowpack and late winter/early spring precipitation caused unsuspected flooding throughout the region.
In 2018, the Okanagan was in a valley wide emergency state due to flooding again. The snow back in March was 85% above normal, and then April rains came along with high temperatures. The melt increased and creeks that have been dry for years started flowing again.