Plans are underway to better prepare for another potential drought this summer.
The province is hosting a series of in-person workshops in more than 30 communities.
In the southern Interior the workshops will take place between March 18 and 29 in Chase, Lumby, Westwold, Lake Country, Oliver and Princeton.
The Drought Management Engagement Sessions will provide an overview of the financial support available to producers to prepare for and reduce the impacts of drought, as well as information about water management under the Water Sustainability Act.
The workshops are free, though registration is required at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/water/drought-in-agriculture/2024-drought-and-water-management-workshops.
Last year, the B.C. government issued four temporary protection orders, including the lower Salmon River east of Westwold and the Bessette Creek watershed northeast of Lumby on Aug. 15 where drought put trout and salmon stocks at risk. Both the lower Salmon River and Bessette Creek feed into Shuswap Lake near Salmon Arm.
Many local reactions to the orders were less than understanding, especially in the farming community of Westwold. Forage crop farmers in Westwold were unable to irrigate until at least Sept. 30, prompting heated, anti-government reactions at a community meeting on Sept. 2.
The workshops are part of the B.C. government’s efforts to help farmers prepare for drought and understand how water management decisions are made.
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