BC Minister asks residents to conserve water

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Drought conditions across British Columbia are impacting stream levels and fish stocks.

Environment Minister Barry Penner is asking residents to conserve water.

According to a report released from the province, the recorded rainfall in July across the province was between one and two thirds of the norm.

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The Peace River region, along with the Liard and Skeena regions, is classified as having level 3 drought conditions.

The classification indicates concerns for both water and fish supplies since many of the streams in the area are either experiencing record or near record low levels.

The Peace River region is the driest area in the province, says Bill Kuhnke, manager of forecasting and information with the Ministry of the Environment.

He says along with the lack of precipitation, the area had less snowfall in the winter and a somewhat earlier snowmelt than usual, which has caused some of the streams to be at their lowest recorded levels.

The Ministry has between 40 and 50 years of stream level records and says some of the rivers that are at their lowest levels are the Moberly, the Pine, the Kiskatinaw, the Halfway, and the Beatton.

The region is also expected to reach a Drought Level 4 classification within a couple of weeks if it does not get a significant amount of rain.

Furthermore, fish stocks could be impacted as fish have problems travelling to spawning grounds when streams are low.

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