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Reduced water use encouraged in northeastern B.C.

VICTORIA – Water users are encouraged to undertake voluntary water conservation measures and monitor their water supply as rains in northeastern B.C. are below normal levels.

Drought conditions in northeastern B.C. persist as an unusually dry summer and fall have been followed by recent snowfall in the area. Moving into winter, streams and aquifers will likely remain in a deficit as temperatures drop.

Water conservation is a communal responsibility, and everyone needs to do their part to conserve water resources and reduce the risk of negative impacts to the environment and other water users. Water purveyors and vendors are also asked to ensure that they have an adequate water supply during the winter months before spring rains improve conditions.

The Oil and Gas Commission has been working with the sector to ensure water is being conserved. Under the Water Sustainability Act, the commission is requiring oil and gas companies in northeastern B.C. to immediately suspend all previously approved water usage.

If conservation measures do not achieve sufficient results and drought conditions worsen, temporary protection orders under the Water Sustainability Act may be issued to water licensees to avoid significant or irreversible harm to aquatic ecosystems. Provincial staff are monitoring the situation and working to balance water use with environmental flow needs.

All water users in affected areas should reduce water use wherever possible and observe all watering restrictions from their local or regional government, water utility provider or irrigation district.

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