After a dry winter, spring precipitation is increasing the snowpack and raising water levels on the Campbell River system, but both are still down.
“BC Hydro’s updated February to September water supply forecast…shows water inflows into the Campbell River system are forecast to be about 78 per cent of normal,” said hydro spokesman Stephen Watson in a news release.
This forecast considers snowpack, precipitation and historical water inflows from the last 50 years.
Should the weather be dry or wet, the water inflow variance can be plus or minus 11 per cent or more.
“Ultimately the challenge will be to balance various water use interests in the system from June through September,” Watson added.
“The lower than normal snow pack may be depleted by early summer and downstream releases from the three dams and generating stations will be managed accordingly.”
The John Hart Generating Station is still operating at half capacity as BC Hydro manages water levels on the upper reservoirs and for the river to support fish and aquatic species.
The Upper Campbell Reservoir/Buttle Lake is now at 214.9 metres, up about one metre from last month around this time.
This is about 1.3 metres below the average level for this time of year.
The Lower Campbell Reservoir/McIvor Lake is currently at 177.6 metres, and is about 0.3 metres above the average level for this time of year.
BC Hydro continues to divert water from the Quinsam River diversion facilities into the Lower Campbell Reservoir.
The water diverted has been small given the conditions, though it has helped.
The Salmon River facility has been taken out of service so that hydro can make moderate repairs to the concrete diversion canal.
Once complete later this month, it will allow for diversion, when enough water in the Salmon River, into the Lower Campbell Reservoir.
This will help with the water abundance recovery within the Campbell River system.