Extremely dry conditions, has forced the cancellation of the Puntledge River Paddle Festival set for later this month.

That from BC Hydro spokesperson Stephen Watson, who says this is shaping up to be the driest period for the Comox Valley in 50 years.

Watson says conditions are actually more severe than last year, thanks to an extremely low snowpack.

The Puntledge River Paddle Festival was set for May 29th to the 31st, and normally attracts several hundred paddlers from all over the coast. Organizers took the lead in pulling the plug on the festival, which relies on BC Hydro releasing huge amounts of water from the Comox Lake Reservoir down the Puntledge River system. The group is concerned about drought like conditions this summer, with Comox Lake providing most of the drinking water to the Comox Valley.