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Snowpack down but Metro Vancouver sees no water supply trouble

Coquitlam Lake is one of three main reservoirs Metro Vancouver gets its water from. Besides generating power for B.C. Hydro, water from the lake goes to Metro
Coquitlam Lake is one of three main reservoirs Metro Vancouver gets its water from. Besides generating power for B.C. Hydro, water from the lake goes to Metro's eastern cities.
— image credit: bing.com

There's less snow in the mountains to replenish local reservoirs but Metro Vancouver isn't expecting any drinking water supply shortage this summer.

Snowpack levels in late April were less than 70 per cent of historic average levels, according to a regional district report.

But the region projects storage in its alpine lakes and reservoirs will supply enough water this summer.

That would only change, the report said, if there's an extreme drought or unusually high demand for water, and then Metro could still increase the use of the Coquitlam Lake or impose more stringent water sprinkling limits, which were already tightened in 2012.

The last time the region came close to not meeting drinking water service targets was in July of 2009 when hot summer weather seriously stretched the water system.

Despite a growing population, water usage per capita has declined steadily over the last 25 years. (See graphs below.)

Metro has set a goal of continued reductions of about one per cent a year.

Restraining demand helps the region postpone expensive future upgrades to the water reservoir and delivery system.

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