To develop a fully integrated watershed management approach that builds upon a scientifically-based, research and monitoring system for tracking and addressing water quality, quantity and land-use changes throughout the City of Dawson Creek’s community watershed. Such an integrated system is necessary to fulfill the City’s obligations as a water purveyor and enables cost-effective decision-making concerning water treatment, distribution, use and waste-water disposal. In doing so, we will support other ecosystem and community sustainability goals over the long term consistent with available resources and capacities.
Management and Research Priorities:
- Ensure compliance with all legislative requirements (Drinking Water Protection Act, Environmental Management Act) for achieving the highest standard possible for domestic water quality and waste management in accordance within its Water License obligations;
- Ensure compliance with the City’s Park Use Permit obligations for operation of the Bear Hole weir;
- Understand hydrology and ecosystem function within the community watershed for enabling effective decision-making and investments in water treatment infrastructure development and maintenance;
- Foster best management practices amongst all upstream resource users within the City’s community watershed for reducing risks to water quality and flows while supporting sustainable development;
- Support sustainability goals using all available educational, policy, planning and enforcement tools to promote water conservation.
- Develop a co-operative water stewardship regime that involves all key land-use stakeholders in understanding the challenges and opportunities for effective watershed stewardship.
Current Actions: (< 5 yrs):
- Field and organizational support of a City and Regional District-funded research project with UNBC involving hydrometric research on surface, groundwater data collection and hydrological modeling to enable long-term, real-time monitoring to continue improving upon the City’s water-system operation.
- Undertake aquifer characterization to understand groundwater flows and potential pathways to contamination.
- Increase general public understanding and awareness of the community watershed functions, and water conservation objectives.
- Develop working relationships between the City and upstream watershed resource users to understand and address ongoing water-use demands and watershed management concerns
- Document concrete progress towards sustainable water management and source-water protection goals on an annual basis in the form of “Water Quality Summaries” and periodic “State of the Watershed Reports”
- Strengthen capacity for tracking land-use change and considering future management options through continual development and maintenance of a watershed geographic information system.
Long-Term Actions: (5 yrs+)
- Develop and promote demonstration projects and improved regulatory compliance for best-practices in water stewardship and conservation amongst both upstream resource users, the general public and target groups with mandates for water and environmental stewardship
- Develop state-of-the-art hydrometric information system throughout the watershed with continuous monitoring and automated telemetry for real-time tracking of key water quality and flow parameters at strategic sub-basin locations.
- Demonstrate the value of integrated watershed management for achieving various sustainability goals for a healthy Dawson Creek community and watershed.