MONTREAL -- This last spring was the driest on record since Hydro-Quebec started keeping track of hydrological data in the 1950s, the Crown corporation reported Friday.

Officials say the dryness is due to lower than normal precipitation levels.

In some areas of southern Quebec, only 40 per cent of normal rainfall amounts have accumulated since April 1.

In addition, last winter's snow cover was below average throughout the region.

As a result, Hydro-Quebec is warning boaters to be cautious as the water level of several rivers is significantly lower.

The public utility company also closed several of its reservoirs earlier than usual, including the Taureau reservoir in Lanaudière, the Baskatong and Cabonga reservoirs in the Outaouais region and the Decelles reservoir in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

It states summer water levels will most likely be reached later than in previous years.

Nevertheless, the Crown corporation insists this should have no impact on the province's hydroelectric supply, adding its large reservoirs, located in the north, will be used as backup to maintain production, if necessary.

Environment Canada is forecasting that there will be some rain over the next few days, including some thunderstorms, in several regions of Quebec.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 25, 2021.