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Minister urges public to prepare for drought conditions again this year

Province of British Columbia
By Province of British Columbia
April 11th, 2024

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, has released the following statement in response to the April 2024 snowpack bulletin:

“The latest snow survey and water supply bulletin from the River Forecast Centre indicates we may be facing drought conditions in B.C. once again this year.

“The April survey shows that the overall snowpack level for B.C. is at 63% of normal, the lowest in 50 years. The experts at the River Forecast Centre tell us these low levels and the impacts of year-over-year drought are creating significantly higher drought risk for this spring and summer.

“We know this is concerning news. Communities around B.C. experienced serious drought conditions last summer. It fuelled the worst wildfire season ever, harmed fish and wildlife, and affected farmers, ranchers, First Nations and industry.

“While some parts of B.C. still could experience prolonged rain or much needed late season snowfall, we are taking action now to help communities, farmers and industry prepare for drought now so we can respond quickly, recover faster and be more ready for drier conditions.

“This includes building more resilient water infrastructure that benefits communities, farmers, fish and wildlife, and $100 million for a new Watershed Security Fund to protect B.C.’s water.

“The Province is taking action to help food producers, farmers and ranchers through drought – this includes a new $100-million investment over the past two years in the Agriculture Water Infrastructure Program. We’re hosting workshops in communities around the province to help farmers prepare for drought and to connect them with financial supports. And we’re convening regional tables in key drought-impacted areas so communities and water suppliers can use their local knowledge to develop local solutions.

“As B.C. experiences more extreme weather and climate-related emergencies, our government will continue to take strong action to strengthen B.C.’s resiliency to drought.

“Everyone can do their part to practise conservation by taking small steps to reduce their water consumption, whether that means taking shorter showers, watering your lawn sparingly or not at all and, most importantly, following local water restrictions. B.C. businesses, local governments, First Nations, and community and environmental organizations are working to conserve water and reduce water usage. Small changes make a big difference when we do them together.

“Our government will continue to monitor stream flows and groundwater levels in the weeks and months ahead, and we will take extra steps as necessary.

“We are prepared for this, and we will all get through this together.”

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