Comox reservoir

From one extreme to the other for BC Hydro

BC Hydro stats show Comox Valley was driest last year; wettest this year

  • Feb. 17, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

From record dry to record wet.

That’s the news over the past year from BC Hydro’s water supply records that date back about 50 years.

A water supply year extends from October to September. The 2013/2014 season to February was the driest on record without a significant storm.

“This translated into water conservation efforts and a low snowpack that hugged near record lows,” BC Hydro communications officer Stephen Watson said.

The opposite is true for 2014/15 — easily the wettest year to date. A handful of significant subtropical storms, including a record-breaking December storm that pounded the Comox Valley and other parts of the West Coast, generated high flows in rivers and streams. However, mild temperatures and rain have melted snow in upper elevations. The resulting snow pack is nearly identical to where it was this time last year, at about a third of normal. Mid-elevation snow may be non-existent, Watson said.

“BC Hydro has been generating power at full capacity this year compared to last year with all the rain, and that’s good news, though we have been hard-pressed on flood risk management operations,” Watson said. “Too much of something is not a good thing, and that applies to all this rain.”

Since October, Watson notes the water BC Hydro has spilled downstream for flood risk management would fill the Comox Lake reservoir 4.5 times.

“With the extreme conditions we’ve had this winter I think our operational decisions have been the best possible,” he said.

BC Hydro is considering the lack of snow melt this year as it looks ahead to fish habitat coverage and water-use interests. Little run-off from the mountains presents difficulties in maintaining adequate river flows for fish.

“It goes to show the balances BC Hydro has in its operations from fish habitat flows and flood risk management to domestic water supply in the summer,” Watson said. “Each year can present very different challenges, and that’s been the case in spades lately.”

BC Hydro was back to operating normal river flow conditions on Friday.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Courtenay woman desperately searches for missing dog

Anyone who owns a dog will understand the anguish of a Courtenay… Continue reading

YANA Ride in Comox raises thousands for families with medical needs

In its seventh year, the event attracted the maximum 600 riders on Sunday

Cycle tour for African Grandmothers coming through the Comox Valley

On Sept. 6, 35 women, aged between 56 and 75, will be… Continue reading

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Injured owl begins recovery at MARS

Western screech owl was showing signs of a head trauma

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Most Read