Surface – Groundwater Interaction Study of Middle Vernon Creek

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Oceola Fish and Game Club

Project Description:

The Oceola Fish and Game Club (OFGC), in partnership with the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBC-O) and the District of Lake Country (DLC), studied the interaction between surface water and groundwater in the Middle Vernon Creek watershed. The 1970s Okanagan Basin Study showed that groundwater and surface water are very closely connected in this area, and that to effectively manage one requires management of the other. A major component of this project was to study the interaction between surface water and groundwater in the Winfield Flats area (between Wood Lake and Ellison Lake). Work completed included the collection of data from a network of eight surface water-monitoring stations and eight shallow groundwater-monitoring stations; and geochemical analyses by the Okanagan Regional Chemistry Analysis Centre at UBC-O. The collected information provided some insight into groundwater gains and losses on the Middle Vernon Creek fan and along Winfield Creek. Aquatic resource maps were also produced for this project. One map broke the southern portion of the Kalamalka-Wood Lake basin into sub-watersheds and showed the major water management areas of interest, such as the community watersheds and aquifers. A map of the Winfield Flats area showed more detailed information, such as groundwater drinking water protection areas; Sensitive Habitat Inventory Mapping of major creeks; and groundwater flow paths. The main purpose of these maps was to integrate water resource management information for public/government education and awareness. This project also developed terms of reference for a Water Use Plan (WUP). The results of this project have been extremely helpful in educating the watershed partners and stakeholders. This project can be used as a model of planning based on watershed boundaries instead of jurisdictional boundaries. To view a presentation on surface/groundwater interaction in the Okanagan see: Neumann_surface/groundwater_interactions.pdf

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