The Kinbasket Hot Springs have had a record run this year, as water levels have remained low in Kinbasket Lake throughout March and April to expose the hot spring source. Levels have begun to rise again, and will likely subsume the hot springs by the first or second week of May. /LAURA KEIL
BC Hydro spokesperson Mary-Ann Coules says the low lake levels are a result of a smaller snowpack and less runoff thus far in the season. The downside of the lower levels is that larger sections of barren dry reservoir land are exposed and contribute to dust storms that blow north into Valemount. Coules says Hydro is currently forecasting that Kinbasket Reservoir will reach a maximum elevation of 747.7 metres in August, which is 3 metres below average. She says as of April 2023, the latest forecast runoff between April and September 2023 is low at 83 per cent of normal for the Canadian portion of the basin, and 88 per cent of normal for the entire Columbia basin. By comparison, the runoff in the Canadian basin in 2022 was 111 per cent of normal and the overall runoff in the Columbia basin was 107 per cent of normal. /LAURA KEIL