The Agriculture Watercourse Maintenance Task Group was established by the Partnership Committee on Agriculture and Environment to develop an agricultural watercourse maintenance policy for British Columbia that considers the needs of both the agriculture and fishery resources.
About 97% of water licensed in British Columbia is for power production, including storage for power production. The remaining 3% of water licensed is for consumptive uses such as industrial, commercial, drinking water or agriculture
In some parts of British Columbia, high levels of precipitation and seasonal runoff can cause saturation of agricultural soils. Most agricultural crops are adversely affected by ponded water on the soil surface and/or prolonged soil saturation in the root zone.
Stormwater runoff is a contributor to flooding and water quality degradation, particularly in areas that receive frequent and severe rainstorms or heavy snowfalls that produce large quantities of surface runoff.
Within the next 10 to 15 years it is projected that the available water in the Okanagan Basin will be fully allocated. At the same time, agricultural development is also expected to increase, with potential growth in the grape and wine sector leading the say.
Some agriculture producers have expressed concerns that existing water rights on sensitive streams may be withdrawn and that water for fish will have a priority over other uses.
Thousands of British Columbians are taking part in small, local projects to help rehabilitate streams and, together with hatchery and restocking programs, the results are encouraging. And BC farmers are no different.
A Riparian Working Group (established by the Partnership Committe on Agriculture and the Environment) will prepare guidelines and implement a process to manage agricultural activities near watercourses in riparian areas.
This internet-based service provides access to agri-environmental information to help Canadians make responsible land-use decisions.
The agriculture industry in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia currently uses 70% of the water in the Okanagan basin.