Beaufort Watershed Stewards now have two years worth of data for selected streams in our watershed. Our neighbour watershed has many years of data due to BC Hydro’s monitoring and management of the Puntledge River flow. Each year BC Hydro issues a water supply forecast for the February to September period. Given the geographic proximity to Beaufort Watershed this provides helpful insights into the possible status of our own water supply.
After a very wet January 2020, the spring weather was quite dry. The amount of precipitation for February was 48%, March 31%, and in early April, just 14% of normal. This is the fourth consecutive year where the February to March period has had well below normal precipitation. Water inflows into the Comox Lake Reservoir have been low since early-February.
The Vancouver Island snowpack is about 80% of normal for this time year. The snowpack typically peaks around the end of April. Overall, the water supply forecast is about 76% of normal. The updated forecast between July and the end of September is just 62% of normal. Last year it was 56% at this time. This is another low water supply forecast during the summer.