Drought Levels

Drought Levels

The Province uses a 4 level drought classification to explain the severity and appropriate level of response to drought conditions. These levels are explained in the table below.  Provincial Drought levels are reported for large water basins across the province; thus, the Provincial Drought Level reported for Vancouver Island represents average conditions across the entire Island, and does not always reflect local conditions.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District applies the same methods to determine the regional drought level.  Both these levels are reported above, and the drought dial is a reflection of the current drought conditions in the Cowichan Valley.

For a full explanation of how the drought level is determined, as well as the roles and responsibilities of various levels of government in responding to drought conditions, see the British Columbia Drought Response Plan.

Level
Conditions
Significance
Objective
Target
1 (Green)
Normal conditions
There is sufficient water to meet human and ecosystem needs
Preparedness
Ongoing reductions in community water use
2 (Yellow)
Dry conditions
First indications of a potential water supply problem
Voluntary conservation
Minimum 10% reduction
3 (Orange)
Very dry conditions
Potentially serious ecosystem or socioeconomic impacts are possible
Voluntary conservation and restrictions
Minimum additional 20% reduction
4 (Red)
Extremely dry conditions
Water supply insufficient to meet socioeconomic and ecosystem needs
Voluntary conservation, restrictions and regulatory response
Maximum reduction
Loss of Supply
Loss of Supply
Potential loss of a community’s potable or fire fighting supply
Emergency response
Ensure health and safety

For information on the current drought levels throughout the province visit the BC River Forecast Centre.

Provincial Drought Levels Map

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The New Normal is an initiative of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

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Kate Miller, Manager
Environmental Services
Engineering Services
Cowichan Valley Regional District
250.746.2509 / 1.800.665.3955
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