Partnership for Water Sustainability’s Ted van der Gulik explained purpose of “Agricultural Water Demand Model for BC” to local government elected representatives at 2015 UBCM Annual Convention


Note to Reader:

In September 2015, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) held its second bi-annual session on on “Tools, Resources & Funding for Local Governments” at the annual UBCM Convention. The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC was one of 21 provincial organizations invited to participate and inform local government elected representatives about what they do. Ted van der Gulik, Partnership President, used the opportunity to explain the purpose of the Agricultural Water Demand Model for BC.


Agricultural Water Demand Model

“Originally developed for the Okanagan Basin, the Agricultural Water Demand mini-DSC_0582_trimmedModel (AWDM) is currently operational throughout the southern half of BC,” states Ted van der Gulik. Formerly the Senior Engineer with the Ministry of Agriculture, he was and is a driving force behind the AWDM Project. Implementation contracts are being administered through the Partnership for Water Sustainability.

Assessment of a Changing Climate

“Many BC watersheds are either already fully allocated or will be in the next 15 to 20 years. The model provides information on current agricultural water use and will also determine future use under various climate change scenarios,” continues Ted Ted van der Gulik_DSC_0586_Sep2015_120pvan der Gulik.

“It will also be used to fulfil the province’s commitment under the Living Water Smart strategy, to reserve water for agricultural lands. It enables scenario comparisons to assess the implications and impacts of a changing climate, in particular warmer winters and longer summers.”


Property-by-Property Analysis

“The model brings science to the table. It is founded on a GIS database that contains information on cropping, irrigation system type, soils type and climatic data. Information is gathered and verified through on-the ground inventory surveys.”

“The model calculates water demand for each unique combination of crop, soil and irrigation system.  A polygon is generated for each combination, a calculation is done for the polygon and then the polygons within a property are added together to determine the water demand for the property.”

“Properties are added together to determine the water demand within a watershed, groundwater region or local government boundary.  A daily gridded climate dataset has been developed so that demand can be calculated on a daily basis and then summarized by month or annually. The model can produce one year of data in a matter of minutes,” concludes Ted van der Gulik.

To Learn More:

Visit the Agriculture & Water community-of-interest.

To download a copy of the handout that was distributed at UBCM, click on Agricultural Water Demand Model.

To read a story posted in 2014 on the Vancouver Island Water community-of-interest, click on Agriculture and Water – How Will Climate Change Impact the Future on Vancouver Island?

2015 UBCM Annual Convention - "Tools, Resources and Funding"

2015 UBCM Annual Convention – “Tools, Resources and Funding”