HIGH WATER In 2017 and 2018, Summerland and other British Columbia communities saw snow pack levels well above normal, resulting in flooding at creeks and lakes in spring. This year, Summerland’s reservoirs are filling, but the snow pack is considerably lower than in the past. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s reservoirs now filling

Snow pack levels had been well below normal over the winter

After a winter defined by low snow pack levels, the last of the snow has now melted and reservoirs are now filling.

The latest snow pack measurements, taken on May 1, showed no snow remaining at either the Summerland Reservoir or the Isintok Lake measurement sites.

Throughout the winter, the snow pack levels at both sites had been well below normal.

READ ALSO: Summerland reservoirs expected to fill, despite low snow levels

READ ALSO: Lowered flood risk with reduced snowpack around the Okanagan

On April 1, the snow pack at Summerland Reservoir had been 64 per cent of the historical average, measured over 56 years.

At Isintok Lake, the April 1 reading showed just 45 per cent of the historical average, measured over 55 years.

However, Devon van der Meulen, manager of utilities for Summerland, said most of Summerland’s reservoirs have filled and are now spilling.

“It was a slow fill with the low snow pack we had,” he said.

Municipal staff were scheduled to go back to the reservoirs this week to see if the last ones have now filled.

Despite the low snow pack, van der Meulen said the community is prepared for a dry year.

“We’ve been through at least single-year drought scenarios in the past,” he said.

At present, Summerland residential properties are under Stage 1 watering restrictions, which allows for irrigation three days a week.

The municipality has five stages of water restriction.

Further restrictions may be introduced later in the year if necessary.

The low levels this year are a stark contrast from 2017 and 2018, when snow pack levels were well above normal and spring was defined by creek and lake flooding in Summerland and elsewhere in British Columbia.

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