Delta – Fraser River Salinity Modeling & Monitoring
|Project Lead||Delta Farmers' Institute|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Corporation of Delta|
Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Salinity Study Forecasts Future of Agricultural Water in Delta.
In Delta, agricultural water supply and salinity are twin management challenges. The combination of changing patterns of river flow in the Fraser River; increasing irrigation demand due to warmer, longer and drier summers; and sea level rise, are expected to contribute to an increasing quantity of saline water migrating up the river.
Our current understanding of salinity influences on the lower Fraser River is incomplete. To fill this gap, this project provides a comprehensive and longer-term approach to understanding the dynamics of the lower Fraser River, the potential impacts of climate change, as well as shifts that may accompany the removal of the George Massey Tunnel. This completed project has generated modeling runs based on the various combinations of climate-change and river flow scenarios, sea level rise and potential dredging scenarios.
Model outcomes in the following report show the current, and anticipated future, extent of saline water intrusion and identify times when salinity levels are expected to be higher than a functional threshold for agricultural water us. The following report provides information for decision makers on how to respond to these changes and mitigate the migration of the salt wedge. The model results and report also include a section outlining recommendations for salinity monitoring locations and a salinity monitoring program.