food security

    WATER ALLOCATION, IRRIGATION AND FOOD SECURITY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “There are three key messages. First, put the science in water licensing. Secondly, it is all about food security. And thirdly, give people only what water they need today,” stated Ted van der Gulik, former Senior Engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture (November 2021)

    “Irrigation for agriculture is a dominant use of water in British Columbia, the need is seasonal, and use peaks when water supply is at its lowest. With longer and drier summers being the new reality for water management, the Agriculture Water Demand Model is a game-changer for achieving food security in British Columbia. We have downscaled climate data to a 500-metre grid across the province. This means we can reliably estimate the total water need for agricultural irrigation. This further means that the Province can align water allocation and water use. This is a powerful outcome,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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    LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “The Agricultural Water Demand Model is the springboard platform for development of additional web-based tools, notably the BC Agriculture Water Calculator, which supports groundwater licensing by the provincial government,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability

    “Ted van der Gulik had a mandate that allowed him to put his ideas into practice through province-wide implementation of the Agriculture Water Demand Model (AWDM). The power of the tool is found in the provincial 500-metre gridded climate dataset, a North American first. Because it generates solid data on agricultural water need, the AWDM is the tool of choice for doing a Water Sustainability Plan. Work is required in other sectors, notably fisheries, to similarly apply a science-based approach and in so doing generate solid numbers to quantify their needs,” stated Kim Stephens.

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