After just experiencing a record historical low flow, many residents and water-users wonder just how secure our water supply is in the Upper Kiskatinaw River. Through prudent conservation measures tied to Water Licence license limitations at low flow, along with water use metering and operational management, the City was able to maintain its reservoirs to near capacity through the past few months. These measures resulted in a reduced water demand for both residential and commercial use which was in fact, less than the available water supply and target maximum of 1.8 Million Gal per day in the system. Our reserve water supply at the Bearhole Lake reservoir was also evaluated with a trial flow release in Sept and continues to be monitored so we can know how best to management that back-up supply at such time this supply may be required.
Fortunately, the watershed maintained a continuous groundwater recharge in the river in recent months including periods when there was no precipitation. A short-term closure of the fish ladder at the Arras Weir was also done temporarily as a precaution to maintain an adequate water supply reserve. Additional research is being undertaken in collaboration with the province to better understand our critical groundwater resource. Other kinds of watershed research, and effective collaboration with the BC government on watershed protection combines with a state-of-the-art water treatment process should continue to ensure a safe, clean and reliable water supply into the future. Caring for our water requires all of us to do our part, particularly as we witness changing climate throughout the entire region.