Producer-led watershed data collection

Changes in climate (e.g. warmer average temperatures, decrease in snow/snowpack) are reducing streamflow during critical periods of agricultural water demand. Warmer and drier summers are also increasing the irrigation demand of agriculture on Vancouver Island. There is a mix of irrigated and dryland production throughout the region and maintaining or increasing production will require secure water supply sources for agriculture.

In addition to climate change, land management practices in critical agricultural watersheds are affecting the seasonal flow rates within water systems. Urban development, industrial uses, and forestry all have the potential to alter watershed function. 

The project began by starting to gather available information related to climate and water in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD). This information gathering included:

  • Research and review of existing and historical monitoring projects and assessment related to the area.
  • Interviews and surveys of local producers surrounding their usage and history with water resources in the district.
  • Conversations with local fire services regarding delivery of water to producers.
  • Discussions with the ACRD and other applicable parties regarding the development of a community water license.

This background work helped to identify the producers, stakeholders, and other interested parties whose participation would be relevant.

All the sources of information that produced the findings and recommendations contained within this report came through engagement with local producers, residents, nations, stakeholders, as well as provincial and federal employees.

This project gathered thoughts, ideas, and generalities to find commonalities for which water and climate related concerns in the Alberni Valley can be discussed in the short and long-term basis.



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