John Hart Dam near Campbell River, B.C. BC Hydro photo

John Hart Dam near Campbell River, B.C. BC Hydro photo

Campbell River watershed forecasts improve with rainfall

BC Hydro projects slightly higher resevoir levels and river flows after rainy May and June

BC Hydro is revising its water supply forecast the Campbell River watershed, saying slightly more water will be available in the summer months, after percipitation increased of late.

Conditions from Februrary through April were drier than normal, resulting in a May forecast of low summer reservoir levels and Campbell River flows.

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However, May had 109 per cent of normal rainfall and June has been wet to date. Combined with continued snowmelt, this added moisture is resulting in higher water infows into the watershed.

The revised water supply forecast is now 85 per cent of normal, a three per cent increase from the May projection.

Snowpack continues to slowly deplete and is projected to be done by early July.

BC Hydro has been providing about a 100 cubic metres per second flow from its John Hart facilities.

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But it will decrease flows to 80 metres per second the night of June 30, to consider summer recreation resevoir levels and salmon out-migration. At this flow output, riverbed and fish habitat remains fully covered with water, said Stephen Watson, BC Hydro Stakeholder Engagement Officer.

Flows will be decreased to about 30 metres per second from July 5 to 10. During this time, biologists will be deployed to the river to relocate fish into the Campbell River mainstem, should any become isolated, said Watson.

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Water level in the Upper Campbell Reservoir/Butte Lake is currently 216.45 metres and rising. The summer recreation target is 217 to 220.5 metres, from June 21 to Sept. 10. BC Hydro forecasts resevoir levels will be within the lower side of that target range this summer and may peak around 217.7 metres, should weather and inflow forecasts hold.

The Lower Campbell Reservoir/McIvor Lake currently has a water level of about 176.5 metres. It is being forecasted to be within the middle to lower end of its summer recreation level targets of 176.5 to 177.5 metres. Its water level may peak near 177 metres over the summer.