Too early to tell if flood or drought year ahead for Okanagan

Not even the Okanagan Basin Water Board staff know if it’ll be a flood or drought year

Will it be a flood or drought year nobody knows – not even the executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Anna Warwick-Sears, executive director of the water board told Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen directors Thursday it was “premature to speculate” whether the Okanagan and Similkameen were looking at a serious flooding year or if the region will experience serious drought conditions.

She told directors the current data shows the area is around 80 per cent of regular snowpack, but a new report from the province is expected in the next few days.

Related: Lowered flood risk with reduced snowpack around the Okanagan

“We were at about this level of snowpack in 2017 and that was one of the worst flood years on record and that was because of an extremely wet spring, so it was a rain-driven flood,” she said. “I think it’s a little bit premature to speculate whether it’s going to be a flood or drought, however the longterm forecast are for continued dry weather.”

She added though that the U.S. is predicting a serious drought.

“On the phone call we were on with the Osoyoos Lake Board of Control this week, the folks from the Washington State side of the lake are very concerned about drought because the Similkameen (River) is very dry right now. The Similkameen is drier that the Okanagan Valley right now. They rely on the Similkameen water as it crosses the border for their irrigation, so it was their biggest concern. The Americans are convinced they are going to be in drought. I think that we are just in a wait and see mode, but I think everyone is preparing.”

Warwick-Sears said communication staff at the OBWB is working on preparing drought plans as a just in case measure.

To report a typo, email:
editor@keremeosreview.com
.


@TaraBowieBC
editor@keremeosreview.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

Stay away from landfills, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen urges

Residents urged to use curbside collection services, stockpile recyclables during COVID-19 pandemic

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

WATCH: Penticton boy celebrates birthday, from a distance

Lucas Lemke celebrated his 11th birthday while practising social distancing

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen cancels April 2 meeting

Staff working to install videoconferencing system during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

No hesitation; two bystanders assist in South Okanagan house fire rescue

“I’d do it for anybody,” says Penticton man after assisting in house fire rescue

WATCH: Okanagan producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

Most Read