By Rachel Fraser

Locals have been noticing that the levels of the”  Kinbasket Lake reservoir are significantly lower than normal.”  BC Hydro confirms that this will continue through the summer, and that Kinbasket’s levels are expected to”  reach 20 feet below average levels in August, but notes that this is not unprecedented, and is still considered to be within normal operating ranges.

Hydro says this is the result of lower-than-average  snowpack in the Columbia Basin, due to low precipitation in the fall and winter, and is in fact the  third driest year on record since 1949.

Additionally, the early heat wave in May caused a faster snowmelt. 

“Since June, inflows have been receding to new record low levels. In the absence of further snowmelt, this year’s water levels will be dependent on the amount of summer rain,” a BC Hydro spokesperson said.

Similarly low levels were observed in 2015 and 2001 due to very low inflows and are reflective of water conditions on the entire Columbia Basin.