Reservoir behind Mica Dam, one of dams constructed under terms of the Columbia River Treaty. (Bonneville Power Ad)

Kinbasket Reservoir near record low levels last week

Earlier this month the Kinbasket Reservoir reached a low point of 714 metres, much lower than average for this time of year.

The body of water behind the Mica Dam is the main storage reservoir for the Columbia system. The historic low was recorded in 2002 at 712.3 metres.

Though the water levels is now rising with the spring melt, BC Hydro is not expecting it will fully refill this year based on below average snowpack levels in the drainage basin, said Jen Walker-Larsen, stakeholder engagement advisor for BC Hydro.

Low water levels have been a challenge for BC Hydro, particularly in the last year which saw increased demand for power due to the Enbridge gas pipeline explosion that left people without natural gas heating and record low temperatures across the province in February.

READ MORE: Electricity use spikes by 13 per cent during cold snap-BC Hydro

“This resulted in more electricity being used than forecasted, and less water remaining in BC Hydro’s reservoirs as demand for power remained high,” said a news release from the company. “In addition, independent power producers were down below projections due to the weather and unable to meet the increased demand.”

A recent report from BC Hydro looked at how the company is adapting to extreme weather and unforeseen events in order to meet the provinces’ electricity demands and keep rates low.

“While BC Hydro is predicting higher water flows resulting from climate change over the long term, unpredictable weather patterns are expected to continue in the years ahead,” the news release said.

BC Hydro will be doing several things to make sure the system continues to perform safely across a wide range of conditions and extreme events:

  • Working to improve the weather and inflow forecasting. For example, all coastal watersheds can now be forecasted down to the hour, which improves the forecast accuracy for extreme rainfall events
  • Expanding its hydroclimate monitoring technology. This includes custom-made solutions that have been designed in-house, as well as upgrading snow survey stations to automated, real-time snow and climate stations
  • Investing in capital projects – like spillway gate replacements – that will increase resiliency of the system to climate change

Levels in the Revelstoke and Arrow Lakes reservoir remain within typical ranges for this time of year.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Revelstoke golfer heading to 55+ Summer Games

At 90 Audrey Lally does it for the exercise

Finding a career and finding family

When Marie-Pier Rodrigue-Jacques moved to Revelstoke in October 2015 she couldn’t find… Continue reading

Revelstoke artist paints mural at Free Spirit Sports

Free Spirit Sports has come a long way since the days of… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke May 25

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

Revelstoke Maternity Project survey available now

Researchers want to know about the Revelstoke maternity experience

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Okanagan group offers suggestions on overdose prevention site

Downtown Vernon Association agrees proposed facility should be near Vernon Jubilee Hospital

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Brothers acquired land at entrance to Garnet Valley

Name of Summerland valley and lake does not match spelling of family name.

Most Read