Montréal, June 25, 2021
An exceptionally dry spring: caution on waterways
The spring of 2021 was the driest recorded by Hydro-Québec since the 1950s, when we began collecting hydrological data at our facilities. We therefore urge boaters to exercise caution on waterways this summer, because water levels are considerably lower than usual.
This can be explained by lower-than-normal spring runoff and precipitation. Certain areas of southern Québec, for example, received only 40% of their usual precipitation since April 1. This winter’s snow cover was also less than normal for all of southern Québec.
Hydro-Québec’s response has been to begin filling its reservoirs earlier than usual, but the lower spring runoff, and the lack of rainfall, in particular, mean that our reservoirs will reach their summer levels later than in previous years. This is the case for Taureau reservoir in Lanaudière, Baskatong and Cabonga reservoirs in Outaouais, and Dozois reservoir in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
It is important to point out that this situation will not have an impact on Quebec’s hydroelectric supply. Our large multiannual reservoirs, located further north, are used to support production when such phenomena occur.
With summer approaching, we urge boaters to be extra careful, as water levels will generally be lower than normal across the province throughout the season, despite the abundant rainfall certain areas of Québec have experienced in recent days. In addition, remember to always keep a safe distance from our facilities.