Climate Change Impact Risk Assessment Tool for Ponds used as Livestock Water Sources
|Region||Bulkley-Nechako, Cariboo, Okanagan, Thompson-Nicola|
|Project Lead||Thompson Rivers University|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture|
|Other Partners||Urban Systems; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations; Tranquille Livestock Association.|
Over the last century climate change has contributed to the loss of a large percentage of the world’s wetlands. In British Columbia’s semi-arid grassland ecosystems, there has been reduction in the size and number of cattle watering ponds. These ponds are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that may include increasing air temperature and evaporation from ponds, along with decreased snowfall and earlier stream flow timing, which impact the available water supply in ponds.
This project will develop the framework for a demonstration tool for identifying pond types by groundwater/surface water interactions. The degree of sensitivity to climate change impacts is linked to a pond’s connectivity to groundwater. The demonstration tool will allow producers to identify the risk level associated with ponds that are important to grazing management. The project will also produce a series of maps, covering BC’s southern interior grasslands, which will use projected climate change data to identify areas at high risk of future pond loss. Knowledge of climate change impacts on ponds will empower producers to direct their resources to areas of high risk and explore options for proactive water management strategies.
The demonstration tool framework, maps and project reports will be shared for feedback via workshops, meetings and presentations for producers in both Kamloops and Kelowna. Access to the maps will be available as a layer file in Google Earth, in producer publications and on websites frequented by producers.