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Rain in the west helps water supply

May 26, 2010 — A cool and wet spring in the west leaves BC's central Okanagan in good shape.

It may have been wet, but conditions this spring have helped to reduce the threat for drought in BC's central Okanagan.

The rain and cool temperatures in the past few weeks are decreasing the demand for water. And now it looks like the region's supply will be in better shape than during the summer of 2009.

The milder and relatively snow-free winter had originally raised concerns that there would be widespread water shortages. This is a familiar problem for the area. Nine out of the ten past years have been drier than normal thanks to a low snow pack. This ultimately affects the summer months because there's less snow to melt and run into reservoirs and lakes.

The district has implemented stage two of its drought management plan. That means residents are able to water their lawns twice a week.

While the wet and cooler weather is good news for the water supply, it's not always welcomed by farmers.

“The weather's been topsy- turvey, up and down, cooling and then warming up again.” That from the President of the BC Fruit Growers Association, Joe Sardinha. Sardinha said after the mild winter it looked that they were about 3 weeks ahead of schedule, but the current conditions have changed that up just a bit.

Sardinha says despite the cooler weather, the fruit crops will still be ready to go. Just not as early. “By my account we're down to a week ahead of schedule, but that's still earlier than last year.”

So really it's a win, win for the entire region.

To find out what this summer has in store for the province, check out our Summer Outlook for 2010.

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