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Water restrictions lifted on Sunshine Coast as disastrous drought sidestepped

In October, the regional district said its reservoir was at risk of ‘imminent exhaustion’
A BC Ferries vessel approaches the Saltery Bay terminal on the Sunshine Coast. (John McKinley file)

For the first time since last May, the Sunshine Coast Regional District has lifted water conservation regulations affecting a large part of its area north of Vancouver.

A statement from the regional district says, effective immediately, Stage 1 water conservation regulations have been removed in the Chapman water system.

In October, the regional district said the reservoir — which serves about 90 per cent of residents in the area — was at risk of “imminent exhaustion” as southern B.C. recorded an unseasonably dry summer and warm fall.

A local state of emergency was declared, operations at the local pool and ice rink were affected and certain types of businesses were closed by the regional district to ensure adequate levels of drinking water.

The statement says there was uncertainty about fall and winter water supplies because of the extended summer drought, followed by freezing temperatures that could have stopped rain from recharging Chapman Lake.

The district says staff will continue to monitor creek flows and snowpacks in the watershed, but flow data from the reservoir confirms all conservation regulations can be lifted.

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