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45 Tsolum River groundwater licence holders to be restricted tomorrow

As dry conditions continue, a fish-population protection order will come into effect tomorrow for the Tsolum River watershed.

The province says it will protect trout and salmon. This will be done by restricting access for industry and forage crops. As of tomorrow, 45 surface and groundwater licence holders in the Tsolum River watershed must stop using water for forage crops.

That includes hay, alfalfa and forage corn. Water use for industrial purposed outlined in the order must also stop, according to the province. The order does not apply to water diverted and used for non-forage crops, such as market vegetables, livestock watering or domestic purposes.

They add it also does not apply to users supported by off stream water storage.

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Affected water users will be contacted directly with a copy of the signed order and the order may be revoked if water flows recover.

The province says irrigation of forage crops is one of the most water-intensive agricultural water uses.  

They add farmers can get assistance through the AgriStability and the ministry is working with the BC Cattlemen’s Association on the new Access to Feed program.

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