The Comox Valley Reservoir on a misty summer morning.

Photo Credit: Stephen Watson / Twitter

There’s Plenty of Water in the Tank

April showers bring sweet summer relief to the Comox Valley Reservoir

Couldn’t we all use a bit of good news?

Sure, it’s been a wet spring. The weather hasn’t been great for camping. But it’s been awesome for our water supply.

February and March were drier than normal in the Comox Valley. BC Hydro was getting worried about a parched summer. But April changed all that.

Stephen Watson is a spokesperson for BC Hydro. “What a difference five weeks can make,” he said in a statement.

“Snowpack is nicely above normal,” he said. We should know—it snowed a lot this winter.

The Comox Valley Reservoir is below normal right now. But as the snow melts and the spring freshets get going, the reservoir will start to fill. BC Hydro plans to fill the reservoir by June.

That means there’s plenty of water to generate hydropower. BC Hydro will also release extra water over a few periods this summer to keep fish and other wildlife healthy and give us a few chances to paddle the rapids.

The Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society is putting together a modified Puntledge River Paddle Festival for the end of May or the beginning of June. Extra flows from the reservoir through the river can make for a wild ride.

Extra flows also help juvenile Chinook salmon migrate out of the river and into the ocean. BC Hydro will publish notices in advance to keep folks safe from the flooding river.

Watson is pretty heartened by the summer forecast. Things have been very dry for the past few years. That’s been tough on fish, cedar trees, and water reserves needed to fight forest fires.

“For the first time in five years, it’s nice to have a good water supply forecast for the summer versus drier than normal conditions,” he said.