Boundary Watershed News & Events

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A look at what's happening in the Boundary watersheds and with the Boundary Integrated Watershed Service. A spot to tell us what you are seeing in our watersheds, what's important and room to share ideas on how to make things better. We've added links (right hand side of the page) to local mapping sites, climate change projections and RDKB Watershed reports.

A look at what's happening in the Boundary watersheds and with the Boundary Integrated Watershed Service. A spot to tell us what you are seeing in our watersheds, what's important and room to share ideas on how to make things better. We've added links (right hand side of the page) to local mapping sites, climate change projections and RDKB Watershed reports.

  • Boundary Region Drought Conditions Update

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    September 9, 2021

    Conditions are still very low throughout the Boundary Region. The update looks at some of the monitored streams.

    Kettle River

    Sept9_BdryConditionsUpdate.pdf

    September 1, 2021

    On September 1st, 41 irrigation (forage) water licences holders (includes surface and groundwater users) in the West Kettle were issued with a Ministerial Order restricting water withdrawal until the end of September. The following is a description from the Province on issuing this Order:

    Persistently low stream flows in the West Kettle River have been threatening the survival of rainbow trout, a species of conservation concern in that watershed. As a result, on August 31, the Ministry issued a Temporary Fish Population Protection Order under the Water Sustainability Act to some [surface and ground] water users in the West Kettle River drainage. Hand delivery of these Ministerial Orders to affected water users has been completed [as of September 1, 2021]. There are 41 affected water users in the watershed, all of which will receive the Order by hand and mail. All affected Water Licences and Well Tag Numbers are listed in the Order. Affected users are required to immediately cease all withdrawals used for irrigation to forage crops from the West Kettle River and hydraulically connected aquifers. It is because of the collective effort of the community we have been able to delay these regulatory actions for as long as we have.

    Even with the above average amount of rain we received this August in many areas throughout the Boundary, it still hasn’t been enough to elevate the lack of rain and impacts from the heat wave we experienced earlier on. As shown in the precipitation percentage since April 1st, we are still exceptionally low in the upper West Kettle watershed to moderately low as we move east towards Christina Lake (graph in Boundary update). Grateful for the rain we have received and the water conservation efforts throughout the watershed; this has likely helped to reduce the areas impacted by this exceptionally dry conditions.

    Sept1_BdryConditions.pdf

    August 25, 2021

    Another review of the Provincial Drought Levels occurred this afternoon, so here’s another update. No change. The Province has kept the Kettle River Watershed at a Drought Level 5 (exceptionally dry) and Okanagan River Watershed at a Drought Level 4 (extremely dry). As mentioned, this is different than the drought levels identified by each water supplier, which are messaged by the water suppliers directly.

    Following the recent cooler weather and weekend rain, our creeks and rivers continue to be very low for this time of year, but have stabilized rather than deteriorated. A step in the right direction, now we just need a lot more rain to bring our water levels back up to normal conditions. If you want me to focus on any specific rivers in my updates, or one of the groundwater observation wells, please let me know.

    Water conservation continues to be very important as we start our shift into fall. Thank you to all of your efforts so far, your communication and messaging including those tying FireSmart practices with water conservation. Great job.

    NOT IN THE BOUNDARY REGION: Ministerial Protection Orders have been put in place in the Thompson Okanagan Region on the Salmon River and Bessett Creek. Provincial Media release can be found at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0072-001644

    Aug25_BdryConditions.pdf

    August 19, 2021

    The Province has kept the Kettle River Watershed at a drought level 5 (exceptionally dry) and the Okanagan Watershed at drought level 4 (extremely dry). See the BC Drought Portal. Thank you to the many of you who have been making significant efforts communicating and following water restrictions/conservation practices.

    This update includes graphs comparing this year’s water level with some of our previous drought years. Spoiler alert: we are showing drier conditions in our upper watershed areas.

    Regarding watering restrictions, first-and-foremost each water user is to follow the recommendations set by their Water Supplier (where your pay your water bill). If your water bill is from the Province of BC, or you do not pay anyone for water use, then you would follow the Provincial recommendation which is to voluntarily reduce all non-essential water use. If you have a BC water licence and did not receive a letter outlining the drought conditions in your region, contact FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca to request a copy.

    Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility. We are all drawing water from the same watershed.

    Wilkinson Creek, August 2021 Kettle River, downstream of Cascade Falls, August 2021 Trapping Creek, August 2021

    Aug19_BdryConditions.pdf

    August 11, 2021

    Check out the August 10 Boundary Conditions Update (tab on the right side of this page) for a short summary of some of the climate and river conditions in the Boundary region, and how we compare to 2015. As we saw last weekend, the Boundary rivers rely on rain to both stabilize and increase our water levels. Last weekend’s rain and cooler temperatures was helpful in so many ways, now lets hope we get some more.


    The Kettle River Watershed remains at Provincial Drought Level 5. Realize that this is one drought level for the entire Kettle River Watershed, so some areas within the watershed may be experiencing higher water levels than others. That being said, many streams in the Boundary seems to be very low for this time of year.


    To find out what the mandatory water restrictions are for your water system, speak with your water supplier (who you pay for your water). If you pay your water bill to the Province of BC (so have a Province of BC water licence), you should have received a letter requesting voluntary reductions of non-essential water use. If you have a BC water licence and did not receive this letter, contact FrontCounterBC@gov.bc.ca. Know that water for domestic use and fire protection is considered essential.


    Stay WaterSmart and FireSmart in the Boundary Region.

    Boundary Drought Conditions Report for August 10: Aug10_BdryConditions.pdf

    August 4, 2021

    Provincial Drought Level 5 (exceptionally dry)

    The Province has upgraded the drought level for the Kettle River Watershed to a level 5 (exceptionally dry), the highest drought level you can have in their 6 level rating system, and the only watershed in BC that has been given this designation. The time is now to make sure we are using our water wisely. Check for leaking water lines, dripping taps, water during times to limit the evaporation.

    Most of us are withdrawing water from the same watershed, so everyone's use impacts the bigger picture.

    Be FireSmart and WaterSmart here in the Boundary.

    July 23, 2021

    Provincial Drought Level 4 (extremely dry)

    Click on the document below for a short review of the Boundary water levels. Water levels continue to drop throughout the Boundary, with significant rain now needed in order to restore flows to normal conditions for this time of year. The document includes a review of stream levels, precipitation over the past 30 days and excerpts from the recent Provincial letter to all Kettle Basin water users – requesting a voluntary 50% water withdrawal reduction at drought level 4 and 30% water withdrawal reduction at drought level 3.

    Water conservation continues to be everyone’s responsibility. A big thank you to all of those in the Boundary area have already made significant changes to their water withdrawals and use. As we continue to use water from the Kettle River watershed, remember that all groundwater and surface water use can impact the systems.

    Every drop counts; we must continue to be FireSmart and WaterSmart as we head into, what is looking to be, a hot August.

    July 23rd Boundary Conditions Document: July 23_BdryCond_Update.pdf

    July 21, 2021

    Water temperatures are now available in Real Time through the Water Survey of Canada site for three stations: Granby River at Grand Forks, West Kettle at Westbridge and Kettle River at Westbridge . When looking at the discharge information, try using the drop down option to pick Water Temperature. Huge thank you to the WSC team for making this happen!

    July 20, 2021

    A graphical look (comparison) between the 2015 and 2021 climate and water levels.

    Boundary Region Drought Conditions 2015-2021.pdf

    See below on how this translates into the different Provincial drought levels


    July 19, 2021

    FISHING REGULATIONS HAVE CHANGED

    Make sure you check the updated fishing regulations for the Boundary rivers (Region 8) and lakes before heading out fishing tonight. Changes in effect starting July 19, 2021.

    Region 8: Okanagan Lakes: Boundary Systems 8-12 to 8-15

    BC Provincial Fishing Regulations: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/recreation/fishing-hunting/fishing/fishing-regulations


    July 14, 2021

    Provincial Drought Classification Level elevated to LEVEL 4 (Extremely Dry). It is recommended for water users to voluntarily reduce their water withdrawals by 50% to support community and ecosystem needs.

    The Province has just increased the Kettle River Watershed to a Drought Level 4 (Extremely Dry). Information on recommended actions associated with the Drought Level 4 can be found in the (DRAFT) RDKB Boundary Region Drought Response Plan (2021) and the BC Drought and Water Scarcity Response Plan (2021). Above all, continue to reduce or even eliminate your non-essential indoor and outdoor water use. Use water when the timing is right to get the most benefit out of it. Every drop counts.


    Below are two documents providing a short summary of current conditions (1 page) and a few graphs.

    July 14_BDRY_DroughtUpdates.pdf

    Jul14_BDRY_Graphs_2021.pdf


    As the Boundary rivers need precipitation for flows to increase, we are now waiting for rain (and a fair amount of it) to help relieve the current drought conditions. Based on Provincial Fisheries Guidelines for the Boundary region, the overall goal for ecosystem protection for the Boundary rivers is around 10% Mean Annual Discharge (MAD), that below 5% MAD can result in critical stress on aquatic systems.


    July 8, 2021

    Provincial Drought Messaging: Boundary reaches Drought Level 3. Province is calling for voluntary 30% reduction in water withdrawals to support community and ecosystem needs. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FLNRO0054-001346

    As we continue to experience hot and dry conditions here in the Boundary Region, we are all closely monitoring the stream flows. Check out below for current streamflow conditions (July 8, 2021) with a quick snapshot of current and upcoming climate conditions.

    July 8_email update.pdf

    PPT_Jul8_BDRY_DroughtUpdate_2021.pdf


    Do you have water scarcity information or observations you would like the Province to know about? Click here to tell us more through the drought forum.

    The Boundary Region is hot and dry; resulting in low river water levels for this time of year. Remember efficient water use, keep watering to the evenings and early mornings, and landscape with drought tolerant plants. Video (8 mins) on current conditions, forecasts and what's next.

    Boundary Region Drought Conditions Update: June 29, 2021



  • World Water Day... March 22, 2021

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    World Water Day is coming soon!

    The United Nations identified March 22nd as International World Water Day, with this year's theme: Valuing Water (https://www.worldwaterday.org/)

    In the IDEAS tab, please share with us different ways, here in the Boundary, for people to recognize World Water Day. As we continue to follow BC Health recommendations, let's share ideas and options, offering different ways to recognize this important natural resource. Could be watching a webinar, learning about WASH, cleaning up garbage along a shoreline, participating in a conference, sharing your water stories with others...

    Feel free to post a picture of the activity.

    https://jointheconversation.rdkb.com/admin/projects/boundary-watershed/brainstormers/world-water-day-march-22-2021

  • RDKB Watershed Webinars & the link to past recordings

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    Come join us for another RDKB Watershed Webinars, Science and Learning here in the Boundary.

    Link to past webinar recordings can be found at: jointheconversation.rdkb.com/boundary-watershed-webinars

    Benthic invertebrates and monitoring in BC streams using CABIN, with a Boundary region focus

    Tuesday, June 22, 2021 10:00-11:30 PT

    Presenters: Stephanie Strachan, Environmental Monitoring Scientist @ Environment and Climate Change Canada; and Jolene Raggett, Environmental Impact Assessment Biologist (Nelson) @Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

    Description: Ever wonder what bugs might be living in the stream channel or along the river shoreline? Join Stephanie Strachan and Jolene Raggett to learn more about aquatic invertebrates and benthic ecosystems. After a quick introduction to the world of aquatic invertebrates, they will talk about how different stream conditions affect these organisms and monitoring techniques based on the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) – including options for the newly interested.

    Link to past webinar recordings can be found at: jointheconversation.rdkb.com/boundary-watershed-webinars

    Aquatic Riparian Areas with Local Fisheries Information

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:00 - 11:30 am PT

    Presenters: Fisheries Biologists Natasha Lukey at Okanagan Nation Alliance, and Eric Hegerat at FLNRORD

    Wetland Health and Restoration

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 10:00 - 11:30 am PT

    Presenter: Wildlife Biologist and Wetland Ecologist Tom Biebighauser of Wetland Restoration and Training


  • Boundary Public Datasets and Mapping

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    There are many public mapping options online that display Provincially held data. Check out a few of the sites in the panel on the right hand side of this page. If you know of other mapping sites providing public information that you think would be useful for others, please share them in the ideas tab below.

  • Release of the Cumulative Effects Study by the Province.

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    The Province of BC (Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development) have published their Cumulative Effects Study for the Boundary Region. A webinar (1 hour) was hosted the day before the reports release to provide information in support of the interpretation and understanding of the report. You can find the webinar on the right hand side of this page, with the link to the reports below.

    The Provincial Reports can be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/cumulative-effects-framework/regional-assessments/kootenay-boundary

Page last updated: 10 September 2021, 17:36