OUR VIEW: It’s dry but we’re not a desert yet

We say: Water system managing to get us through the worse so far

Wow, dramatic news about our reservoir levels coming from BC Hydro this week.

But it’s not time to panic yet. We’ll tell you when to do that (just a joke!).

The power utility is facing the prospect of water levels in the top end of the Campbell River system dropping to a level where it can’t flow over the intake for the Strathcona Dam power station.

That has repercussions for the Campbell River itself below the John Hart Dam both for power generation and for fish survival. Just as the main runs of salmon are entering the Campbell River, water levels are at record lows.

But there is still lots of water in the massive reservoir system upstream of Elk Falls it’s just that it has to be managed and BC Hydro is filling up the Lower Campbell/McIvor reservoir in order to have enough water on hand for a 32-day buffer.

Still, the region has seen unprecedented drought conditions but that doesn’t mean people need to over-react. There is still a lot of water around. The city is on Stage 1 water restrictions which it places every summer. The campfire ban for most of Vancouver Island is still in place and fishing is still allowed in the Quinsam and Campbell rivers (unlike rivers from Oyster-south). So, be sensible about your water, camp without a fire and be thankful that the dam system on the Campbell is well-managed enough that it can stock up on water to get us through the hottest time of the summer.