Participants guessed water storage date

During Earth Week, the Summerland farming community held a freshet contest.

Dear Editor:

The Community Cultural Development Committee held Earth Week in Summerland in April with various events geared to raising awareness and encourage dialogue on environmental issues and sustainability at the local level and beyond.

During Earth Week, the Summerland farming community held a freshet contest.

Participants were asked to guess the date and time when Thirsk Dam would stop spilling, thus officially bringing an end to the Trout Creek spring freshet.

This date is important for all the residents of Summerland, as it signifies the city is now using stored water to carry on our lives, recreational activities and business for the rest of the year.

If this date is very early, there is more likelihood of  water shortage problems during the summer and fall. The longer the dam spills the more confident we can be that environmental, domestic, and irrigation requirements will be sufficient for everyone’s needs if it is managed well and the weather is not too extreme.

According to Scott Lee, head of water operations for Summerland Public Works,  the latest Thirsk has ever stopped spilling is Aug. 24, and the earliest is June 18.   There have been two years when the dam did not quit spilling.

This year the Thirsk dam quit spilling at approximately noon on July 14.

This year’s contestants made far ranging predictions that the dam would quit spilling anywhere from April to August, but most people guessed July dates – indicating a good understanding of our watershed.

The winner for the 2012 Summerland Freshet Contest is Helen Poncelet of Summerland. She guessed July 14, 6 a.m.

She is the winner of two beautiful hanging baskets from Summerland Greenhouses on Canyon View Road and a forty pound box of the apples of her choice when in season.

Honorable mention goes to  Diddy Evans July 14, 4 a.m. – only two hours apart between these two guesses.

Denise MacDonald

BCFGA Water and Environmental

Committee chair