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Water demand could soar in future

July 25, 2016 3:30 P.M.

Climate change may result in much higher demand for irrigation water, according to a model developed for the city’s agricultural land base.

The water demand model is a water management planning tool that calculates current and future agricultural water demands for areas within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and areas zoned for agriculture within the city. The City recently completed the model partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Community Futures Thompson Country.

Some of the findings:

  • Climate change scenarios developed by UBC and the Summerland Research and Development Centre predict an increase in agricultural water demand due to warmer and longer summers and lower precipitation during summer months in the future.
  • Currently there are 12,816 hectares of land within the ALR in Kamloops.
  • The total irrigated acreage in Kamloops is 1,265 ha, with 70 percent supplied by licensed surface water sources, and 30 percent irrigated with groundwater.
  • There is an opportunity to reduce water use by converting irrigation systems to a higher efficiency for some crops. In addition, using better management such as irrigation scheduling techniques could also reduce water use.

Three climate change models were used in the report. Results show that in an extreme climate scenario, it is possible to have an annual water demand that is 18 percent higher than what was experienced in 2003, an exceptionally hot, dry year.

The soils mapping and full report from the analysis are available here on the City’s website, allowing local farmers and the general public access to detailed water demand and soils information.

The project was funded in part by the City, Community Futures Thompson Country, Yellowhead Community Services, as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture through federal-provincial programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.

Bianca says:
July 25, 2016 10:10pm

And how much water is Ajax planning to take? Who still thinks this ill fated project is a good idea?

Also newskamloops, check this out:

Many new reports that were prepared for the SSN were just releaded. Lots of new info here that the public would be interested in learning about, imho!


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