Watering Restrictions  |  Level 3

Due to low snowpack for winter 2024, the City is maintaining its watering restrictions at Level 3.  The City continues to encourage sound water conservation principles.

Level 3 watering restrictions allow lawn and garden watering 2 times a week:

  • EVEN # Addresses:  Thursday &  Sunday   |   Odd # Addresses:  Tuesday  &  Saturday
  • Manual Sprinkler:  6am–8 am  OR  7pm–9pm
  • Automated drip Irrigation: 12am – 2am
  • Handwatering & Washing: Anytime with user-controlled auto-shut-off valve
  • Pools & Ponds: Top up only.
  • Bulk Water Sales: Permitted.

See the Outdoor Watering Policy and more: merritt.ca/watering

Spring Freshet 2024


As we shift into spring, melting snow and spring showers can lead to rising rivers or “freshet.” No advisory is currently in effect for the Merritt area. According to a Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin released by the Province in January 2024, the snowpack in the Lower Thompson Basin is averaging 36% of normal for this time of year. While the winter is not over and more snowpack could accumulate, at this point, Spring Freshet is not expected to be significant. However, if we get several days of really hot weather, followed by heavy rainfall, high river advisories could be issued and groundwater impacts are possible.  The period to watch is late April through June. While the Coldwater River was the source of the major flood in fall 2021, it’s the Nicola River that typically experiences the greatest freshet variations. Gratefully, there is a dam at Nicola Lake, where water outflows to the Nicola River, which can control water flow and reduce the risk of flooding is reduced.

Residents can monitor river forecasts, warnings and advisories through the Province of BC River Forecast Centre.  Residents can also see current Streamflow Conditions and Flood Forecast Modeling.  Also monitor weather statements and warnings through Environment Canada.  As a point of reference, the Brookmere station on the Coldwater River typically registers a maximum discharge rate between 50 and 100 m3/s. During the 2021 flood, that level reached between 250 and 300 m3/s, before the monitoring station was damaged.  This station has since been repaired.

Please note that a team of people at the City of Merritt and in the provincial government actively monitor weather events and environmental risk, and are in frequent communication with each other regarding events that may impact Merritt residents. When there is a critical warning or other emergency alert, residents will be notified via the Voyent Alert app, website, social media, and the media.  Sign up to get notifications to your mobile phone or landline.


Be Prepared

Preparation is key. Residents are responsible for flood prevention on their own private property. If your property is near any water source, you may want to be prepared for overland flood.  Sandbagging and drainage ditches are your best bet.

If your property is in a low-lying area, you may be susceptible to groundwater seepage into your basement or ground floor. Installing a sump pump and improving drainage around your home is recommended.  Also be sure to clear your drains and gutter system.  It is also recommended that you ensure that your land slopes away from your home, and, if necessary, install land drainage.

If you need to construct a sandbag dike or wall to protect your property, the City has a sandbagging facility in the Public Works parking lot at 1298 Coldwater Avenue.  Also get some sandbagging tips and information from Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR).

Other Emergency Preparedness Tips

  • Prepare an emergency plan and have a plan for evacuation of your family, pets or livestock. Visit the Get Prepared webpage before a flood for additional tips on what to do before, during, and after a flood.
  • Assemble a 72-hour kit disaster preparedness kit and acquire the tools and supplies that might be needed before, during and after a flood.  Make sure your emergency kit includes enough food, water, a first-aid kit, identification and medications for your entire family.
  • Place your important documents and identification on an upper floor in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Review insurance available for your property. Some coverage is available for overland flow and surface water; typically groundwater damage is not covered. The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness expects property owners to obtain flood insurance, when and where available. Property owners who choose not to obtain flood insurance, where available, may not be eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance.
  • Know where the power and water shut-off is in your house.
  • Do not to pump water into the sanitary sewer system. It is only designed to accept typical household water waste.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts on the Voyent Alert app. Monitor the City of Merritt’s news page, facebook page and twitter feed (@CityofMerritt). And visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Emergency Page for up-to-date information on emergencies in our regional district.

Avalanche Canada Notice

FEBRUARY 29, 2024

Avalanche Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada, Kananaskis Country, and the Province of BC is issuing a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users across most of BC’s and Alberta’s forecast regions. This special warning is in effect immediately and will apply through the end of Monday, March 4.

Recent storms have deposited a significant amount of snow across Western Canada. This new snow sits on prominent weak layers established in early February. Now the storm has abated, the natural avalanche activity has slowed but human-triggered avalanches remain likely.

“We’ve been tracking these weak layers closely over this past month,” explains Avalanche Canada Forecaster Tyson Rettie. “While their structure has different forms across different regions, the result is the same—highly problematic layers that remain reactive to human triggering.”

“This has been the biggest storm of the season, and we know backcountry users are eager to enjoy the snow,” adds Rettie. “But it’s vital to not underestimate the instability of these weak layers. Any avalanche triggered on them could be deadly.”

Making cautious terrain choices will be an important strategy for all backcountry users over the next few days. A good way to do this is by sticking to lower-angle slopes and choosing smaller objectives that minimize the consequences of an avalanche.

“Given the unpredictability of avalanches, and their devastating potential consequences, we’re urging everyone to stay safe by exercising caution and making informed decisions when planning a trip in the backcountry,” said Bowinn Ma, BC’s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “Please follow the guidance of Avalanche Canada during this time of heightened risk.”

Backcountry users should always check the avalanche forecast at www.avalanche.ca. Everyone in a backcountry party needs the essential rescue gear—transceiver, probe, and shovel—and the training to use it.

Other Important Links