Equipment funding empowers a network of water stewards

 In News

Like interconnected webs of fungal organisms and tree roots working together below the forest floor, networks allow for individual entities to tap into the strengths of the collective.

In both nature and human society, networks are conduits for knowledge and resource sharing and facilitate collaboration toward a common goal. Over the past 18 years, the Columbia Basin Watershed Network (CBWN) has connected a constellation of stewardship groups throughout the transboundary Columbia Basin.

The CBWN built capacity and offered support for regional stewardship groups in water monitoring and empowered on-the-ground voices to help guide watershed decision-making and planning. When the CBWN dissolved in 2022, Living Lakes Canada adopted the remaining programs including the Water Monitoring Equipment Fund.

The Fund supports water stewardship groups by providing, maintaining or fixing monitoring equipment. In 2023, the Fund supported 11 water stewardship groups. Of the 11 groups, 10 are based in the Canadian headwaters with one transboundary group downstream in Oregon:

Across Canada, 60% of subwatersheds lack the data required for sustainable watershed management and climate change adaptation planning. As climate change impacts increase, there’s a need for more comprehensive water monitoring to track changes in water quality and quantity. The most effective way to fill the data gaps and gain clarity about the health of our waters is to support the localized efforts of community based monitoring (CBM) groups.

By providing appropriate equipment, the Water Monitoring Equipment Fund will support the critical work already underway by CBM groups, enabling the collection of accurate and reliable water data. Currently, CBM groups use water data to help detect invasive species, identify areas for restoration and assess climate change impacts on lakes, streams, wetlands, groundwater and snowpack. With the Fund’s support, stewardship efforts can continue to grow and expand throughout the Columbia Basin.

Get a glimpse of the 2023 Water Monitoring Equipment Fund recipients and how they’re using their new equipment:

Support local initiatives working towards the long-term protection of watersheds.
Your donation will help provide water monitoring equipment to stewardship groups across the Columbia Basin.

For more information about the Water Monitoring Equipment Fund, please contact Sophie Gonthier, Lakes Program Coordinator, at sophie@livinglakescanada.ca.

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Clouds and mountains reflect on the water surface of the Upper Arrow Lakes.