Comox Lake Reservoir might be 74 per cent of normal by end of September

The Comox Lake Reservoir reached the full level of 135.33 metres on June 30.

The Comox Lake Reservoir reached the full level of 135.33 metres on June 30.

It is currently at 134.6 and is about normal for this time of year. The level has been dropping at about three centimetres per day.

Inflow into the reservoir is currently only about 10 cubic metres per second (m3/s). BC Hydro’s water supply forecast is showing water inflows into Comox Lake Reservoir between now and the end of September may only be about 74 per cent of normal.

BC Hydro is running the Puntledge River Generating Station at about 10 megawatts, or about 40 per cent of capacity, to conserve water. Power reduction from full capacity took place on July 4 when the reservoir had begun to recede from being full and the onset of the dry weather.

BC Hydro forecasts maintaining the release from the dam and the output from the generating station at this level through the summer. If the weather changes from what’s anticipated then BC Hydro will adapt as needed.

Under the current long-range forecast, BC Hydro forecasts the reservoir being around 132 metres by the end of September. That level is about one metre above where levels can get critical for the management of downstream fish habitat flows.

The river flow below the generating station, where the majority of people put into the Puntledge River for tubing, is around 18 m3/s. During the semi-annual maintenance period starting Sept. 3, with BC Hydro shutting down the generating station, the river flow will be reduced slightly to the 15- to 16-m3/s range.

A river flow under 20 m3/s is ideal for tubing, but please be safe. A good link on water safety is through the Canadian Red Cross at

www.redcross.ca/what-we-do/swimming-and-water-safety/swimming-boating-and-water-safety-tips/open-water.

— BC Hydro

 

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