A happy job Stewart talks to us at the start of the 3rd 500 KV line near Merritt. Photo KDG

A happy job stewart talks to us at the start of the 3rd 500 KV line near Merritt. Photo KDG

You may be miffed that the BC government takes a dividend from hydro when its supposed to be a non profit and delivering power at a rate that reflects your equal standing as a citizen in British Columbia now that dividend may be more attractive when a low snow pack creates less generating capsity then in other year. Putting pressure on that dividend against a reasonable rate. Is it a tax? It is against the mixed economy concept that is supposed to undergird our free system of profit driven business. Here’s what hydro is saying about the snow pack:

Lower-level snowpack is way below normal in many areas across province

No snow on the North Shore mountains. Mount Washington closed to skiing for the season. A record high temperature of 14°C at Vancouver airport a month after Christmas. What’s going on here? And what does it mean to 2015 water levels in B.C., including BC Hydro’s reservoirs? To answer those questions, and to take a deeper dive into the effects of climate change, we sat down with BC Hydro meteorologist Tim Ashman, author of a popular in-house weather blog that goes out to more than 1,000 BC Hydro employees. A member of BC Hydro’s hydrology and technical services team, Ashman agrees that this has been a weird winter in B.C. “It’s been unusual in B.C. and in much of Western North America,” he says. “It’s been warm quite consistently, pretty much all winter, with only a couple exceptions.” What makes the winter of 2014-2015 so unusual is just how warm and wet it has been compared to other so-called El Nino years. We had one in 2009-2010 during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but that winter was largely dry. Not this time around, because this El Nino year is different. “All of our storm cycles have been warm,” he says. “And that’s had a significant effect on our snowpacks. We’ve had to deal with water runoff instead of storage into the snowpack. At elevations where we’re generally storing snow at this time of year, we’ve seen runoff.” That runoff was significant enough that BC Hydro was forced to spill water at several dams, notably in the Campbell River system. Meanwhile, a rainy October in the north recharged ground water and increased streamflows into BC Hydro’s largest reservoir, Williston, in what amounted to an unusual, but welcome, pre-winter influx of water heading into the peak season for electricity demand.

Maybe rain will come maybe taxs will go up. What ever comes we still have a lot of good people and an enduring community to increase our quality of life come what may. You may take this serous enough to do that solar project you have put off.   On this day: March 5th 1975 The first meeting of the home brew computer club.

For more from hydro visit the newsletter: http://www.bchydro.com/news/conservation/2015/decreased-snowpack-impacts-bc.html?WT.mc_id=c-15-03_snowpack

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