FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The provincial government says that record-breaking hot and dry conditions have caused a widespread elevation of drought levels in B.C.
The areas that are most affected are northern B.C., coastal areas and Vancouver Island.
The Province has set a Level 4 drought rating for the Northeast, Northwest, Stikine and Skeena-Nass areas, as well as for all of Vancouver Island.
The drought rating for the Peace basin is currently still at Level 3, while the East Peace area, including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Hudson’s Hope is being raised to Level 2.
The government said that forecasted precipitation in some parts of the province, in particular the Peace Region and across the North, is not expected to significantly diminish drought levels.
As drought levels increase, maximum voluntary water conservation is strongly encouraged to maintain water supplies. The Province has the ability to regulate water usage, including temporary suspension of water licences or short-term water approvals, should it become necessary, to protect flows for fish and for priority water users.
Earlier this week, the BC Oil and Gas Commission announced that it had issued an industry directive suspending the use of water from a number of streams and rivers in Northeast B.C.