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Industry holders of Water Sustainability Act (WSA) Section 9 and 10 Authorizations for water use are notified of potential water shortages in 2024.

DATE ISSUED: Jan. 26, 2024


Persistent drought conditions through summer and fall 2023 in northern British Columbia continue to impact streamflows and groundwater levels. Lower than average snowpack has been observed to date and the combined impact of these events has created an increased potential for drought conditions in 2024 and another summer of possibly limited water supply in the north.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, the Peace Basin is currently at 72 per cent of historical average for snowpack. A full summary of the latest River Forecast Centre Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin can be found here, with subsequent reports published monthly and snow conditions commentary provided bi-weekly. Although snowpack can change significantly in the remaining months of the snow season, there remains cause for concern.

With the wrap up of the 2023 drought monitoring season in November 2023, all four basins in the northeast are at Drought Level 5 (Adverse Impacts Almost Certain).

As per BCER DIR 2023-12, suspensions for surface water withdrawals authorized under WSA Section 10 continue for select water sources in the Fraser, Peace and Liard River Watersheds.

Watersheds are facing potentially critical water shortages in the coming year. The purpose of this bulletin is to notify industry holders of WSA Section 10s of both the potential for further restrictions in other areas and that current suspensions may extend for a longer period than in previous years. This notification also provides advance notice of the potential for regulated restrictions on WSA Section 9 water licenses should conditions worsen. Water users are encouraged to consider water conservation measures, develop or update water use contingency plans and stay informed on developing conditions.

For more information on drought, please visit the Provincial Drought Information Page.

If you have any questions regarding this Information Update, please contact:

Ryan Rolick


BC Energy Regulator


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