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BC Hydro provides Puntledge River update

Spokesperson for BC Hydro, Stephan Watson is giving the latest update on the Puntledge River.

Watson says the month of May was slightly wetter than normal with rainfall at 109% of average. This follows three drier than normal months to April.

He says the snowpack has been below normal and looks to be depleted later this month. With the snowmelt and rain, inflows into the Comox Lake Reservoir for the month of May were 100 per cent of normal.

Watson says BC Hydro has been running the generation station at the minimum five megawatts
to conserve water and have the Comox Lake Reservoir essentially full.

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“The minimum overall fish habitat flow below the powerhouse, for the lower part of the river, is 15.6 cubic metres per second. We have been operating just slightly above that minimum flow, with some modest help from flows from the upstream Browns River.”

“At this time we do not see a need to reduce flows below the minimum fish habitat flow through to the early fall, but that will be dependent on how dry the weather is throughout the summer and early fall.”

The minimum fish habitat flow was developed to provide good water flows for fish and keep the riverbed covered with water.

The Comox Lake Reservoir level is currently at about 135.1 metres, which is essentially full, and holding before trending downward over the summer.

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Watson says BC Hydro will now manage the water storage and downstream flows through the summer for fish habitat, domestic water supply and power generation.

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