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Eastern Vancouver Island at Level 3 drought conditions

We could use a little bit of the wet stuff, with parts of Vancouver Island experiencing drought conditions.

It’s impacting many streams and rivers across the southern half of the province, resulting in very low water flows, particularly in the south Okanagan and on the east coast of the island.

The Coldwater River watershed near Merritt is at Drought Level 4 (extremely dry) and Eastern Vancouver Island is at Drought Level 3 (very dry). 

Drought maps throughout B.C. can be accessed at the provincial drought portal which can be accessed here

The province says water conservation is everyone’s responsibility. 

It’s urging maximum water conservation is being urged for all areas where low flows are approaching a critical environmental flow threshold for ecosystems and fish. 

Residential, agricultural and industrial water users in areas affected by drought should observe all water conservation bylaws, watering restrictions and advice from their local government, irrigation district or water utility.

General water conservation tips:

At home:

  • Limit outdoor watering.
  • Do not water during the heat of the day or when it is windy.
  • Consider planting drought-tolerant vegetation.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Do not leave taps running.
  • Install water-efficient showerheads, taps and toilets.

On the farm:

  • Implement an irrigation scheduling program using real-time weather data.
  • Schedule irrigation to match crop needs and soil storage capacity.
  • Improve water system efficiencies and check for leaks.
  • Focus on high-value crops and livestock.


  • Reduce non-essential water use.
  • Recycle water used in industrial operations.
  • Use water-efficient methods and equipment.

The good news is, Environment Canada’s forecast is calling for showers on Monday night, rain on Tuesday, and a chance of showers on Wednesday before it clears up again.

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