As the second-driest summer in the Central Fraser Valley’s history wraps up, residents have an unpleasantly wet spring to thank for a lack of significant water restrictions across the city.
As of Aug. 31, just 54 millimetres of rain had fallen since the start of June, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Cindy Yu.
Of that measly total, just eight millimetres or so has fallen since late June. The lack of rain has resulted in these meteorological summer months of June, July and August being the second-driest on record.
August was also set to be either the second- or third-warmest on record in Abbotsford.
But residents might have noticed that, unlike the drought-ridden summer of 2015, there has been a distinct lack of concern about the water supply that serves Abbotsford and Mission.
Indeed, the city remains in the first stage of water restrictions, which are applied automatically in May, and which limit lawn watering to two days a week.
Mayor Henry Braun says that even if the dry weather continues, it’s unlikely the city will have to impose further restrictions.
Stage two would see lawn-watering reduced to once a week, while stage three would prohibit all lawn-watering and would ban the filling of pools and recirculating fountains.
Lawn-conscious residents can thank the wet spring, which saw above-average rainfall, along with snow in the mountains. That left Dickson Lake, the city’s primary water source, full to the brim until the start of July. Since then, its level has been receding, but not as fast as in some other years.
In addition to the soggy spring, residents can also give themselves a pat on the back.
In 2007, demand spiked close to 140 million litres per day. That number is also the capacity of the entire system.
This year, though, saw only one day exceed 100 million litres, according to Braun. And the 102 million litres used on that day – Aug. 6 – was attributable to a break in a Fraser Valley Regional District water line.