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13th October 2022
Sunshine Coast faces 'very dire situation' with historic low water supply levels

Ongoing drought means region only has a guaranteed water supply until early November

Bethany Lindsay CBC News Posted: Oct 04, 2022 6:33 PM PT Last Updated: October 4

An ongoing drought on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast has caused the region's water supply to reach historic low levels, and local authorities are warning of a "very dire situation" if it continues.

The Sunshine Coast Regional District has been at Stage 4 water restrictions since Aug. 31, banning all outdoor use, and an emergency operations centre was established last week to respond to the crisis.

"It's really dried up. Our lakes that we're drawing water from are at a level that we haven't seen before," Remko Rosenboom, the regional district's general manager of infrastructure services, told CBC.

"If we're not taking actions in the short term, given the ongoing warm weather and the lack of rain in the forecast, we might otherwise be in a very dire situation several weeks from now."

As things stood on Tuesday, Rosenboom said the region has a guaranteed water supply until early November, and "a significant amount of rain" is necessary before then to prevent the situation from deteriorating.

According to Environment Canada's current forecast, there's no rain expected on the Sunshine Coast for the next week at least, and temperatures could reach above 20 C most days.

Rosenboom said the priority right now is making sure there's enough water for hospitals and firefighting.

Local residents are being encouraged to take shorter showers and only use their dishwashers and laundry machines when they have full loads.