February 26, 2024

B.C. Hydro is facing the potential for a severe drought and low water conditions in key watersheds that feed its major dams due to below-average snowpack. The utility has a history of managing high water and low water years, but this is one of the worst. They are concerned about extreme weather due to climate change and are considering importing more electricity to preserve reservoir levels. The snowpack in B.C. mountains is 40 percent below normal, which is lower than last year and could result in another summer of severe drought. B.C. Hydro has become a net importer of power due to low snowpack and had to dial back electricity production. However, inflows have improved recently and the utility anticipates that reservoir levels will be higher by the end of March. They are bracing for continued electricity imports through 2024. Reservoirs are compared to a “bank account” and the utility has depleted it with low snowpack conditions. B.C. Hydro’s ability to power through the winter has been preserved by careful planning and electricity imports. The utility wants customers to have confidence that they will have enough power despite the challenges they face.

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