Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Cariboo Water Tool

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Cariboo-North/Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA's Coralee Oakes and
Donna Barnett receive briefing on new Cariboo Water Tool
First Nations, industry and members of the public can now access science-based information on water supply in the central portion of the Fraser River watershed with the release of the Cariboo Water Tool. The water tool is a leading edge, GIS-based program that supports decision-making on water-use planning and approvals.

Traditional hydrologic data analysis requires up to a week to generate information to prepare and adjudicate water licence applications in British Columbia. With the Cariboo Water Tool, users can access that information within minutes.

Water licence applicants can use the information from the Cariboo Water Tool to assist with the application process. Likewise, regional water managers can use modelled flow and environmental flow needs information to support their water allocation decisions.

Building on the success of the Northeast, Northwest and Omineca Water Tools, and the Water Portal, the Cariboo Water Tool summarizes information on all water-use approvals and provides decision-makers with guidance on environmental flows and potential water supply in a format that is transparent, readily accessible and easily interpreted.

The Cariboo Water Tool uses innovative technology to summarize existing water licence information and estimate mean annual and monthly discharge for user-defined watersheds. It also provides an overview of watershed characteristics, including vegetation and topography, and an overview of current climate conditions. The tool uses climate change scenarios to gain an appreciation of potential climate conditions, which will influence the timing and volume of streamflow.

Cariboo Water Tool users can also access historical and current environmental monitoring information collected at more than 1,500 locations in the region. This includes information on streamflow and groundwater levels, surface and groundwater quality, and weather conditions.

The water tool also helps users understand not only what the long-term average water availability for their location of interest is, but also to see current conditions in relation to the historical monitoring record.

Developed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, together with Foundry Spatial Ltd., the Ministry of Environment and the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the B.C. water tools are unique in North America as water resource decision-support tools.

Quick Facts:

The information used in the Cariboo Water Tool was developed through a modelling process that
used 119 long-term hydrometric stations in B.C.

The Cariboo Water Tool allows users to generate reports describing the hydrology of more than 180,000 watersheds in the region.

The Cariboo Water Tool includes information on currently active water approvals issued under the Water Sustainability Act, as well as historical and current environmental monitoring data from more than 1,500 locations in the region.

The Cariboo Water Tool can be viewed at http://cariboo.bcwatertool.ca/

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