Water monitoring helping predict watershed behaviour in a changing climate

Submitted by Chris HiebertNorth Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project

The North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project (NKLWMP) is working to improve understanding and prediction of how small- and medium-sized watersheds are going to behave in a changing climate, especially in conditions of extreme high and low precipitation.

The project has established seven hydrometric stations, two high-elevation climate stations, one low-elevation climate station and two high-elevation snow course sites on the North end of Kootenay Lake.  Stations are monitored and maintained by a combination of professional and citizen scientists. By focusing on the monitoring of streamflow and related climate variables, the results from NKLWMP will provide key data for making a range of critical conservation decisions, especially with respect to climate change.

The NKLWMP recently partnered with Living Lakes Canada and is excited to be working with LLC to foster a deeper understanding of water, climate change and healthy communities in the West Kootenays. The project has recently been working on orientating new volunteers and repairing, maintaining, and winterizing hydrometric and climate stations.

NKLWMP also presented at the Friends of Kootenay Lake Summit in Kaslo. We are now gearing up for the 2019 snow course measurements at our two high elevation stations and are working on the preparation of the first NKLWMP report, which will be available soon!

To learn more about the NKLWMP, or to become involved as a volunteer, please contact us at nklwmp@gmail.com.

NKLWMP volunteers taking snow course measurements.
NKLWMP climate station
NKLWMP volunteer at Ben Hur Hydrometric station after completing repairs.