All summer the Coldwater River was battling extreme drought conditions. The situation led to the City of Merritt implementing its highest level of watering restrictions back in August.
Thankfully the recent precipitation in the region has helped the river nearly double its flow level this week alone.
Jonathon Boyd from the River Forecast Centre joined Q101 to discuss the improvements.
“The Coldwater River has increased to 480 litres per second, and it’s almost doubled since Saturday,” said Boyd. “Although it’s almost doubled it still just a little bit above the critical environmental flow threshold. So, it has bumped up, but it still hasn’t got out of the danger zone quite yet.”
Boyd credited the improvement to the city experiencing 15.2 mm of rain over the past weekend.
“The Coldwater and the Similkameen watersheds were just a bullseye of dry weather this summer. Much of the province received greater than normal rain through July. But for some reason this little area in the Coldwater and Similkameen was a bit drier,” said Boyd.
Another key for the improvements has been several water licence holders voluntarily stopped water withdrawal from the river.
‘The hope is that we will continue to get more rain and if that happens, we’ll have our Ministry staff make the call and drop it to level three (drought). But, of course, it's all about whether forecast rain actually occurs,” concluded Boyd.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt