Snowpack – We are not out of the woods yet.

B.C. snowpack reaches record low for May

Snow in B.C. has melted early and quickly this spring, leaving a record-low amount of snowpack on B.C. mountains for May. Many regions have snow levels less than half of normal for this time of year, according to the latest bulletin from the River Forecast Centre, released this week. The provincial average is 53 per cent of normal — the lowest level since 1980 when record-keeping began…. Overall, conditions as of May 1 look more like June 1 — meaning snow is disappearing three or four weeks early, the report said. It’s largely gone from low and mid-elevations already. Lisa Johnson reports. (CBC)

See also: Specialist: Rapid melt of Olympic snowpack could prompt water worries in late summer Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Port Gamble to pump reclaimed sewage into groundwater, not Hood Canal

This is great news. For years, some environmentalists have been saying that it’s time to stop using the Salish Sea as a toilet. That has faced skepticism by many in government roles of actually implementing it. Now, facing a lack of snowfall and rain, new systems like Port Gamble’s are looking at reuse rather that pumping out into the Sound. While this is a small system, it points to a much better way of approaching the future, one that actually might recover the Sound rather than just pollute it less. This is where we need to go, along with zero water toilets, composting toilets and other methods that are not mandated, or even approved for use yet.

Port Gamble sewage plant to protect shellfish, recharge groundwater

The historic town of Port Gamble is about to get a new-fangled sewage-treatment plant, one that will allow highly treated effluent to recharge the groundwater in North Kitsap. The old treatment plant discharges its effluent into Hood Canal, causing the closure of about 90 acres of shellfish beds. After the new plant is in operation, those shellfish beds are likely to be reopened, officials say. The new facility will be built and operated by Kitsap Public Utility District, which owns and manages small water systems throughout the county. The Port Gamble plant will be the first wastewater operation to be managed by the KPUD, which views the project as a step toward reclaiming more of Kitsap County’s wastewater by putting it to beneficial use, said manager Bob Hunter. Christopher Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

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