The continued unprecedented dry and hot conditions in British Columbia’s southern Interior has prompted government to increase the drought level in the Okanagan to 4.
At drought level 4, licence holders who do not get their water from local water utilities are being asked to reduce water use by half. Water licence holders who get their water directly from one of the large lakes, or the Okanagan river channel are also being asked to conserve water.
General voluntary reduction of water usage, from surface and ground water in southern B.C., is encouraged as the summer continues. In areas where voluntary water reduction has already been implemented, it has helped to slow down the intensification of drought conditions and the need for regulatory action.
Conditions between watersheds across the Okanagan Basin vary, which explains why neighbouring jurisdictions might require different restrictions. Co-ordination between the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and the Province is ongoing.
All water users in affected areas need to reduce their water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from their local/regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district.