This is the fourth consecutive year where the February to March period has had well below normal precipitation. Black Press file photo

This is the fourth consecutive year where the February to March period has had well below normal precipitation. Black Press file photo

BC Hydro water supply forecast showing 78 per cent of normal for Comox Valley

This is the fourth year where the February to March period has had well below normal precipitation.

Water inflows into the Comox Lake Reservoir have been low since early February, said BC Hydro in a water forecast Thursday.

After a very wet January, the weather since then has been quite dry. The amount of precipitation for February was 48 per cent, 31 per cent in March and 14 per cent in April to date – 14 per cent of normal. This is the fourth consecutive year where the February to March period has had well below normal precipitation.

The Vancouver Island snowpack is about 80 per cent of normal for this time year. The snowpack typically peaks around the end of April, noted Stephen Watson, stakeholder engagement advisor for BC Hydro in a statement.

“Our February to September water supply forecast is updated each month. This forecast guides our Puntledge River operations and water management for various water use interests such as fish habitat, domestic water supply, recreation and power generation,” he noted.

RELATED: BC Hydro working in conservation mode at Comox dam due to low water levels

As of early April, the water supply forecast for the February to September period is showing 78 per cent of normal. To compare, the February forecast was showing 103 per cent of normal but the dry weather since then has meant a reduction. The residual forecast for water inflow from April to September is 81 per cent of normal, with that slight difference being the anticipated snowmelt.

The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at 132.35 metres, which is about 1.25 of a metre below the normal level for this time of the year. The reservoir has been slowly moving down over the past few months. Generally, the reservoir level fluctuates between 131 metres to 135.3 metres.

The 24 megawatt (MW) Puntledge River Generating Station has just been reduced from about 10 MW to about 7 MW, or about 30 per cent of capacity.

BC Hydro, in following a February to April model that was developed in collaboration with DFO and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, continues to operate the generating station and fish screen within the penstock so that the salmon fry out-migration meets or exceeds the 95 per cent successful fish passage target below the Puntledge River Diversion Dam.

This dam is about 3.7 km downstream of the Comox Dam.

BC Hydro is releasing about 16 cubic metres per second (m3/s) from the Comox Dam, which is slightly above the downstream Puntledge River minimum fish habitat slow of 15.7 m3/s.

Watson said the water flow release may generally continue until we typically see the freshet in May.

The Puntledge River flows this spring and summer will be dependent on snowmelt and rain events. BC Hydro will provide an operational update in early May.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The School District 71 DPAC hosted an online forum for candidates hoping to fill a vacant board of education position. Screenshot, SD71 DPAC Facebook page
Six make their pitch to fill empty school board seat in Comox Valley

District’s parents advisory council hosted the online forum for Area C candidates

Many of the static aircraft displays are decorated in thousands of lights for almost the entire month of December at the airpark on Military Row in Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
VIDEO: Christmas lights on display at 19 Wing airpark

Per COVID-19 rules, viewing of the display is strongly encouraged by vehicle and not exiting the car

GP Vanier grad Samantha Rebitt has earned the 2020 Governor General’s Academic Medal, with an academic average of 99.8 per cent. Photo supplied
GP Vanier announces its 2020 Governor General’s Academic Medal winner

Samantha Rebitt had a near-perfect 99.8 per cent academic average

The suspect in a Nov. 22 attempted robbery at the Ryan Road 7-Eleven has been arrested. Photo supplied
Courtenay man arrested in connection with attempted robbery at 7-Eleven

A 19-year old Courtenay man has been arrested following an attempted robbery… Continue reading

The Nov. 20 WestJet flight 3171 has been identified by the BC Centre for Disease Control with a COVID case aboard. (Black Press file photo)
COVID-19 exposure reported on a fifth flight at Comox airport

Another exposure risk from flight originating in Calgary

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Letter to the editor.
LETTER – Horgan’s election promise of COVID relief cash is money foolishly spent

Dear editor, Would you dip into your child’s registered education fund to… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Most Read