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Greater Vernon water supply levels close to average

By Staff Writer – Vernon Morning Star
Published: February 12, 2012 1:00 AM

February snow survey indicates average runoff.

Greater Vernon water utility is tracking the latest climate information to help predict water supply levels for the coming year.

Snowpack readings were taken Feb. 1 at three monitoring stations near the Duteau Creek water reservoirs. These readings show the snow water equivalent, or water content of the snow, at 98 per cent on average for this time of year. The utility also tracks snow depth and found levels to be at 88 per cent of average.

The utility is working with the B.C. River Forecast Centre to track regional climate and snow pack trends. Its February report states that increased precipitation in January led to an improvement by 10 per cent in levels.

The Okanagan-Kettle Basin, which includes Greater Vernon’s Kalamalka Lake water source, is at 81 per cent of normal snow water equivalent.

The South Thompson Basin, covering the Duteau Creek reservoirs, is currently at 92 per cent of normal.

While being close to average, the utility will continue to closely monitor these levels as snow pack plays an important role in supplying water to fill its reservoirs during spring melt.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has “predicted that La Nina conditions are expected to continue for the next three months throughout most of B.C., resulting in cooler than normal and normal to wetter than normal conditions. However, La Nina is more likely to have a significant impact on the western, coastal portions of the province than the Interior.”

Greater Vernon’s water utility will continue to monitor climate trends and water supplies as the summer peak water use season approaches.

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