VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – All eyes are on the Fraser River again this weekend, and although still high, water levels appear to be stabilizing.

Emergency officials are still warning people planning Canada Day celebrations to take extra precautions if they’ll be on the water.

A notice from the province’s Justice Ministry warns that water levels remain higher than normal, and anyone venturing on or near the water should pay attention to flood warnings. If conditions are unsafe, the ministry says people should stay out of the water and stay well clear of flooded areas.

Even with the flood threat easing, the question remains whether the risk of flooding is going to be more common in the Lower Mainland.

SFU geography teacher Jeremy Venditti says although it’s hard to predict next year’s flood risk, data points to these near-record levels becoming an annual occurrence.

“We had high flows in 2007 [and] we had fairly high flows last year. These flows are not uncommon as they happen regularly, maybe on the order of every 10 years. So we can expect this to keep on happening in the future,” believes Venditti.

He also points to the increase in rain the last few springs as a sign that flood levels will likely keep rising in the future.

“What happened this year, is the flow went up so high because the snowpack was melting and then we had rain on top of the snowpack. Any time that happens, we get high flow,” notes Venditti. “So if we are going to get more rain in June, then indeed this will be more common.”

Venditti adds developers need to stop building in the flood plain and engineers should set the dykes back to allow for these annual high flows.