Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Project Profile: Kiskatinaw Flow Forecasting Project

The City of Dawson Creek has collaborated with many different entities in efforts to expand understanding and support watershed research within the Kiskatinaw watershed. The University of Northern British Columbia, Bulkley Valley Research Centre, the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLRNO), and Ministry of Environment are working together to develop a continuing operational program to progress water supply management within the Kiskatinaw watershed.

This program will be building on the previous work carried out through the City’s Watershed Stewardship Program. Previous work included studies of sub-basin seasonal flows, surface-groundwater interactions, land use change, peak flow gauging, climate monitoring and reservoir management at Bearhole Lake.

Snowfall and weather conditions are strongly linked to the volume and timing of the spring freshet within the Kiskatinaw, influencing peak runoff events, maximum soil moisture levels and seasonal groundwater recharge.

To accurately predict water supply for the City of Dawson Creek, real-time monitoring of climate variables and snow conditions is essential. Various climate stations and snow courses have been installed and maintained by the different organizations involved and provide a robust monitoring network that will support water supply management for the City of Dawson Creek.

The use of modeling, weather station data, snow survey data, remotely sensed data and in stream data will be utilized to develop predictions of spring runoff, associated turbidity levels, and year to year variations in snowpack in response to variations in climate.