Snowpack levels are well below average but cooler weather has slowed the melt, meaning Stage 2 water restrictions could come slightly later this year and start in mid to late June, according to Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) staff.
In 2019, the SCRD implemented Stage 2 on June 7.
Last month staff had cited concerns they weren’t able to fly to the Chapman and Edwards Lake locations where they test snowpack levels because of COVID-19 precautions, but infrastructure manager Remko Rosenboom said May 21 that the helicopters were made “COVID proof,” which allowed them to take measurements.
So far this spring, the demand on water has been roughly the same as last year, except for during some days in April and May when the temperature increased to above 20 C, prompting a “huge spike in demand,” which Rosenboom said was “pretty alarming for us.”
The prediction for a later Stage 2 will depend on weather conditions in the coming weeks.
Keats Island residents, however, were given 24 hours notice on May 20 that Stage 2 would be implemented for their water system. The system has no recharge potential and the water levels are decreasing, prompting the early call, said Rosenboom.
Lawn watering is not permitted at Stage 2.
Currently, Stage 1 restrictions are in effect for the rest of the SCRD water system.
Rosenboom also announced May 21 the launch of a water monitoring program.
Metered residents in SCRD’s rural areas can now be provided with monthly updates on their water usage via email. Those interested in participating can email email@example.com.