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Watershed

WATERSHED AWARENESS

The key to ensuring clean, safe and reliable drinking water is to understand the drinking water supply from the source to the consumers' tap. This knowledge includes understanding the general characteristics of the water and the land surrounding the water source, as well as mapping all the real and potential threats to the water quality. These threats can be natural, such as seasonal droughts or flooding, or created by human activities such as forestry, cattle grazing or recreational activities in the watershed.

WATERSHED PROTECTION PLAN FINAL REPORT - MAY 20, 2010 Source Protection Plan – identifying hazards and vulnerabilities to drinking water quality and quantity and developing strategies to eliminate, minimize or mitigate hazards to provide a safe and secure drinking water source. View the report and appendicies below. Please note these are very large files and may take some time to download.

  1. Watershed Protection Plan Report and Tables
  2. Watershed Protection Plan Report Appendix A to F
  3. Watershed Protection Plan Report Appendix G to L
What is a Watershed?

Watersheds filter, drain and transport and collect water from a variety of sources. When we talk about much more than just water and the water cycle: we are talking about soil, trees, rocks, grasses and everything making up the land. Watersheds are essentially everything that a droplet of water touches or goes through in order to get back to a stream, river or lake. Throughout that journey, a drop of water may come into contact with a variety of obstacles and contaminants.

Water Quality Concerns

The watersheds for the Westside Joint Water Committee members encompasses almoust 100,000 hectares on the west side of Okanagan Lake, and includes five (5) major creeks that drain into Okanagan Lake: Lambly Creek, Powers Creek, McDougall Creek, Trepanier Creek and Peachland Creek. These watersheds provide drinking water for residents. The majority of the area is provincial Crown land that is used for forestry, cattle grazing, recreatino and mining. As the water suppliers using these major creeks and upper elevation lakes, we are very aware of the impacts on water quality of the multiple uses that occur in the respective watersheds.

What is the Multi-Barrier Approach?

The multi-barrier approach includes using up to date and reliable water treatment and distribution systems, regular testing of water supplies and professional training and to protect the watersheds from contamination.

Why Protect Water Sources when we can treat water before it gets to our taps?

It is cheaper and safer to stop water from getting polluted in the first place than to pay to clean it up later.

Guidelines when in the Watershed

  • Everyone Lives Downstream: Recognize that you are in a watershed and that domestic water is supplied to residents downstream

  • Minimize soil disturbances: Stay on designated roads and trails to avoid damage to soft soils.

  • Avoid Wetlands and Marshy Areas: Tracks and ruts made will not repair themselves. Make a point of knowing where these areas are, since some are only visibly wet in spring. Long term sediment damage can occur even when it is dry

  • Garbage Disposal: Pack out what you pack in. Don't leave garbage behind.

  • Washrooms: Where washrooms are provided please use them. If facilities are not available, make sure you are far away from streams, wetlands and lakes. Bury solid waste.

  • Reservoirs and Dams: Keep all motorized vehicles off dam structures and approaches. A simple rut can cause damage to a dam structure and create an emergency situation.

  • Fishing and Boating: Use electric motors only rather than gasoline for fishing and boating on a reservoir.

  • Camping: No camping or campfires on the dam structures and approaches. Respect signage and gates.
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