File photo The use of sprinkler in the regional district will be restricted during Stage 2 Watering Restriction.

File photo The use of sprinkler in the regional district will be restricted during Stage 2 Watering Restriction.

Low snowpack increases chance of summer water restrictions in Abbotsford and Mission

Below-average snowpack increases chance of water restrictions in 2019

Water restrictions could come earlier than normal in 2019.

The snowpack near the lakes that provide Abbotsford and Mission with most of their drinking water was half of normal as May began. That makes it likely that water levels on Dickson and Cannell lakes will drop sooner than usual and increases the chances of early water restrictions.

The water equivalent of the snow at Dickson Lake on April 30 was 49 per cent of average, according to a staff report.

The amount of water in Dickson Lake drives decisions about water restrictions. Costs also increase significantly if the lake level drops below the “gravity drawdown limit” – the point at which pumps need to be used to get water out of the lakes.

The low snowpack doesn’t guarantee early water restrictions will come into play, though. Rainy weather over the summer can both help supply Dickson with more water and decrease the demand among consumers. The opposite can happen as well.

In 2006, Dickson remained near capacity through late June before heavy demand and drawdown and a lack of fall rain left the lake with its lowest water level ever by October.

By 2011, Abbotsford was worried enough about a lack of water that it held a referendum to ask for permission to borrow more than $200 million to tap Stave Lake as a source. The referendum saw the No side prevail, and in the following years, Abbotsford and Mission were able to significantly reduce the amount of waters their residents used.

Since 2014, water consumption has risen just two per cent. The two cities have grown significantly faster than that, meaning per-resident consumption continues to fall. Still, the growth has led Abbotsford and Mission to plan to build a collector well for around $80 million dollars over the next decade. Planners say the well should ensure the two communities have enough water to welcome tens of thousands of new residents over the next several decades.

RELATED: Location eyed for possible collector well

RELATED: Three unsexy projects account for bulk of $1 billion in infrastructure needs


@ty_olsen
tolsen@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Morning mist clears over the Hope Slough at Camp River Road on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Sunny skies in the forecast for Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday morning, then clear skies

The Abbotsford School District head offices. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford school district spent majority of emergency funds on staffing: report

District laid out spending plan for COVID-19 funds received from province and feds

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read