Summerland Stream Assessment

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District of Summerland

Project Description:

In partnership with the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program, the District of Summerland used stream inventory and mapping to assess seven unconfirmed watercourses within the municipality’s boundaries. Though small, these unverified waterways represent a vast amount of the Okanagan’s water resources that are unknown. Major watercourses in developable areas are a priority to map, but watercourses like those in this project have only been previously identified as drainages on Terrain Resource Inventory Mapping. Through mapping and assessment it was determined which of the seven courses were streams by definition, and whether or not they support fish habitat and therefore should be protected through Riparian Areas Regulations. The information obtained through this project allowed the District to achieve accurate inventory of the watercourses and appropriate protection through an Official Community Plan amendment to the Watercourse Development Permit Area to include those streams that support fish habitat. Other communities with unconfirmed streams can look to this as an example of the importance of inventorying local water resources to ensure that proper protections and management practices are in place.

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