Shuswap Watershed Agricultural Land Use Inventory 2015
Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Salmon Arm, Sicamous
One of the most important requirements for the long-term viability of agriculture is the availability of water. The Ministry of Agriculture, Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC are working together to collect information on the land use status of farming areas to develop an agricultural water demand model.
Agricultural land use inventories (ALUI) are conducted during the summer to identify irrigation methodology, crop type, and crop potential for land parcels with agricultural capability (soils and climate). This is a windshield survey where a Professional Agrologist navigates public roads and observes the land from within the vehicle.
Once complete, the Agricultural Land Use Inventory (ALUI) will provide a unified and consistent inventory across the watershed, and will:
- Define the amount of actively farmed land in the region as of 2015;
- Act as a benchmark for monitoring land use change;
- Assist land use decision-making including official community plans and bylaw updates;
- Identify impacts of proposed policies and regulations;
- Improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities to enhance agriculture; and
- Identify opportunities to improve land use and resource compatibility.
The Agricultural Water Demand Model (AWDM) relies directly on data inputs from the ALUI, and will:
- Provide a scientific estimate of agricultural water demand for current and future climate scenarios;
- Improve understanding of water demand patterns;
- Enable examination of management alternatives that consider future land use changes;
- Define potential impacts of climate change and identify appropriate adaptation strategies; and
- Build on a similar model developed in the Okanagan Basin in 2006.
For more information contact:
Land Information Coordinator
BC Ministry of Agriculture