Keyline Water Management: Field Research & Education in the Capital Region [fi09]
|Status||completed in 2017|
|Project Lead||Hatchet & Seed|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Beetnik Farms, Capital Regional District Integrated Watershed Management Program, Peninsula Streams Society, Raven Hill Herb Farm|
|Other Partners||Bullock Lake Farm|
Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Australian Technique Offers Novel Approach to Water Management.
Climate change projections for Southern Vancouver Island include an overall increase in average annual rainfall but with much of this falling in winter, spring and fall (and through extreme rainfall events). Summers are anticipated to become drier with an increase in extremely hot days. These changes will require producers to increase the resilience of their operations for both drought and flood conditions.
Keyline Design takes a holistic approach to farm water management and uses natural landscape contours and cultivation techniques to slow, sink and spread rainwater more evenly across the landscape. Keyline design has been successfully applied in similar winter-rain climates in Australia, and this project introduced and tested this approach within an agricultural context in BC.
The project implemented and monitored two “Keyline Water Management” techniques — “Keyline pattern subsoil ripping” and “Keyline mound formation” — on three farms within the Capital Region with three different production models (pastured livestock, tree and herb crops, and annual vegetables). The Keyline Water Management: Field Research & Education in the Capital Region Soil Indicators Monitoring Program report below includes information on the designs implemented and results at the three farm case studies. In addition to the pilot projects at three farms, the project included “Keyline Design” seminars and public field days. Farmers were empowered to use open access GIS imaging technology to better understand their watersheds and help them use Keyline Design patterning.