DROUGHT 2015: Planning and Response Glen Davidson, P.
DROUGHT 2015: Planning and Response Glen Davidson, P. Eng. Director Water Management Branch Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum Oct. 9, 2015 Osoyoos BC OUTLINE Causes and current status of the 2015 drought
Drought impacts How did the Province and communities plan for and respond to the drought? Preparing for next year What Caused the Drought?
Low snowpack levels in winter of 2014-15 Low spring precipitation High temperatures caused early snowmelt Extremely warm and dry summer Drought Impacts in 2015 Fish stress and mortalities across southern half of province. Many communities were water stressed, with some close
to losing all water supplies Agriculture impacts Hydropower impacts BC Drought Response Plan Outlines procedures for setting drought levels Describes roles, responsibilities, communication protocols for agencies. MFLNRO lead agency Establishes working groups that are responsible for drought actions
Outlines a series of actions to be undertaken by agencies and local governments at each drought level. Role of Province
Coordinate provincial interagency preparedness and response Monitor provincial conditions Determine drought levels, stream advisories Implement statutory regulations Provincial communications Support local emergency preparedness and response
efforts Role of Local Government Monitor local conditions
Manage community water supplies Implement water conservation strategies Communicate with residents, local media Lead for emergency preparedness and response efforts; liaison with province Provincial Actions to Date
Activation of BC Drought Response Plan Communications Some regulation of water use under Water Act and Fish Protection Act Closure of many streams to angling under the Fisheries Act Planning for deteriorating conditions Provincial Actions in the Okanagan
FLNRO developed and activated regional drought plan Implementation of OLRS Monitoring of stream and fish conditions Potential regulation of Similkameen, Kettle/Granby rivers High level of compliance with voluntary water
conservation Community Actions in 2015 Activation of local drought response plans Conservative management of water supplies Widespread application and enforcement of water restrictions Active communications with residents Participation in local and provincial drought teams But not all communities were prepared
Going Forward. Plan for multi year drought Learn from events of 2015 Clarify roles and responsibilities
Increase capacity and resources to respond to drought Key Messages Expect more droughts like 2015 or worse. Droughts can cause significant impacts on society, the environment, and economy. Governments at all levels will need to ramp up planning and response. Infrastructure makes a difference. Water conservation makes a difference
Were all in this together. Thank you! For more info please contact: Glen.Davidson @gov.bc.ca or http://www.livingwatersmart.ca/drought/
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