Drought affects communities, the environment, and the economy through a reduction of water for communities, agriculture and industry. It also affects the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems.
Lower water levels may increase concentrations of nutrients or contaminants, leading to poor water quality.
With less available potable surface water, people may make heavier draws on ground water supplies, wells, and springs.
Water that is necessary for biological or industrial production processes may be reduced, and agriculture and industry users may lose the ability to produce crops or provide goods and services to communities of the province, impacting the health and economy of an area.
Coping with the effects of reduced supplies may cause chronic stress for some individuals and negatively affect the social fabric of a community.
Drought conditions will also increase the risk of forest fires and limit water supplies for firefighting.
Lower stream flows and the corresponding increased water temperatures threaten the survival of many fish and aquatic species.
For more information:
Dealing with Drought: A Handbook for Water Suppliers in British Columbia - July 2009
Source: Dealing with Drought: A Handbook for Water Suppliers in British Columbia - July 2009