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.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Registered owner of vehicle involved in fatal hit-and-run comes forward

As owner speaks with Abbotsford detectives, police encourage witnesses to come forward

Man wanted for crimes in Saskatchewan turns himself in

Elio Schiaroli, wanted for sex assault and more, was spotted in Abbotsford

Abbotsford’s best-park bracket: Round 2 results

Four more parks eliminated in quest to determine city’s favourite park

Fire crews tackle blaze in Abbotsford home

Blaze reportedly sparked by explosion in farm equipment

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police says case is now in the hands of the coroner

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Impaired driving charge laid in 2018 crash in Delta that killed teen

Olivia Malcolm and her 20-year-old friend were standing behind their vehicle when they were hit by a car

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Most Read