Water Use Planning was announced in 1996 to ensure provincial water management decisions reflect changing public values and environmental priorities. A Water Use Plan (WUP) is a technical document that, once approved by the provincial Comptroller of Water Rights, defines how water control facilities will be operated. The purpose of a Water Use Planning process is to develop recommendations defining a preferred operating strategy using a public participatory process.
Mission Creek Water Use Plan
Water Management Consultants. (2010). Mission Creek Water Use Plan. Richmond: Mission Creek Watershed Partnership c/o Black Mountain Irrigation District.
- A Water Use Plan process was carried out for a Stakeholder Committee of the Mission Creek Watershed Partnership with representation from the Black Mountain Irrigation District (BMID), South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID), Regional District of Central Okanagan, the City of Kelowna, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and other water users.
- Flow releases have been made from the BMID and SEKID intakes based on water licence requirements and are fixed rather than variable releases. The feasibility of implementing a system of variable releases was investigated as part of the Water Use Plan process.
- A reservoir simulation model was developed to simulate the operation of the BMID and SEKID water supply system on Mission Creek. The model used weekly flow estimates provided by the Environment Canada HBV-EC model which used climate data for a 50-year period on Joe Rich Creek, a tributary of Mission Creek.
- The Mission Creek water supply system was simulated based on current operating rules to verify the hydrologic and reservoir operation models. It was found that adjustments had to be made to the HBV-EC flow values to match the records of reservoir levels. While the match to the reservoir operation data is fair, the current model consistently underestimates flows at the WSC gauge in most years. The hydrologic model calibration should be revisited when the Water Use Plan is update.
- An operations plan was developed based on providing fish flows downstream of the BMID and SEKID intakes using flows on Pearson Creek (an unregulated tributary of Mission Creek) as an index of natural flows at the WSC gauge.
- Based on the findings of this study the Mission Creek Watershed can support increased downstream flows for fisheries and other users without compromising water supply for irrigation and community use. This is because BMID has a large watershed area with reliable snow accumulation and the addition of Turtle Reservoir increases supply reliability for SEKID.
- Fish flow conservation targets would frequently be met in wet years for August, September and October. There are only 9 years out of 50 when flows would be between 25 and 50% of targets and the duration would typically last one to two