Some of Summerland’s reservoirs are continuing to spill. In 2020, the community’s reservoirs kept spilling until July 18, while in 2019, the reservoirs stopped spilling on June 14. (Summerland Review file photo)

Some of Summerland’s reservoirs are continuing to spill. In 2020, the community’s reservoirs kept spilling until July 18, while in 2019, the reservoirs stopped spilling on June 14. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s reservoirs continuing to spill

Municipal officials preparing for potential drought year

Some of Summerland’s reservoirs are overflowing as water flows from melting snow.

Devon van der Meulen, manager of water utilities for Summerland, said some of the reservoirs are now full while others are spilling their banks. In spring, melting snow fills the reservoirs and they spill, or overflow their banks. When the spilling stops, the water in the reservoirs is the community’s supply for the rest of the year.

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The total water capacity for Summerland is 14,303 million litres.

The snowpack at Summerland’s measurement sites was slightly higher than normal in April, but by May 1, the snow had all melted at Summerland Reservoir and most of the snow pack was gone at Isintok Lake.

He said conditions are drier than normal this year and there is some concern about a possible drought in the region. He is in talks with the Okanagan Basin Water Board about water management for the community.

A letter from the municipality will be sent out, advising residents to use only the water they need this year, van der Meulen said.

“We don’t want to panic but we want to be mindful about the supply of water in the watershed as much as we can,” he said.

The date when Summerland enters water storage is a factor in the supply of water for the remainder of the year. In 2020, the reservoirs stopped spilling on July 18, but in 2019, the spilling stopped more than a month earlier, on June 14.

In 2017 and 2018, the reservoirs stopped spilling on June 29 and June 28 respectively. Earlier, there have been years when the reservoirs were still spilling into August, as well as a few years where the reservoirs did not stop spilling at all.

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