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Drought Information

British Columbia Drought 2015

Drought is a recurrent feature of climate involving a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, resulting in a water shortage.  In British Columbia, drought may be caused by combinations of insufficient snow accumulation, hot and dry weather or a delay in rainfall.

Hydrological drought is associated with the effect of low precipitation on water levels in rivers, reservoirs, lakes and aquifers. Hydrological drought affects uses which depend on ground and surface water levels and stream flows.

Important Notice

Please see Information Bulletins / Advisories for the latest updates on drought.

While angling closures are not always directly related to drought, this season low streamflows and hot, dry weather has resulted in high stream temperatures resulting in the need for angling closures. For more information on these angling closures please see:

» Fact sheet: Drought affects your well (Aug. 24, 2015)

Please see for the latest information on drought and low flows from the BC River Forecast Centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is water managed during a drought?
    The Province manages drought by following the Drought Response Plan. Learn about what the provincial and local government roles and responsibilities are and the actions they take during a drought.
  • What are the effects of drought?
    Drought can have many impacts on local communities and the economy. Find out more about what the drought can affect in B.C.
  • What You Can Do
    Water conservation is everyone's responsibility, especially during drought. Learn more about why it is important to conserve water and the cost savings that go along with using less water.

Drought Level Classification

In B.C. we use a four level Drought Classification to explain the severity and appropriate level of response to drought conditions.

Drought Level Classification