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Watershed / Source Assessments and Protection

Watershed Assessment and Protection Plans

A watershed, or basin, is a land area from which water drains towards a common point. A watershed assessment plan characterizes a drinking water source and its immediate watershed, identifies current and forecasts future drinking water hazards and vulnerabilities, characterizes the risk posed by each hazard, and provides recommendations to reduce impacts on the source intake and/or watershed. A watershed protection plan is a coordinated framework for implementing prioritized and integrated water quality protection and restoration strategies driven by environmental objectives.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has undertaken a number of watershed assessment and protection plans in recent years.

Duteau Creek:

A Duteau Creek Watershed Assessment was completed in 2008. In 2009, a Stakeholder Advisory Committee comprised of provincial and federal agencies, licence & tenure holders and First Nations, set priorities to reduce risks to drinking water. Collaborative work with ranchers, forestry licensees and ministries has included a Cattle Impact Reduction Plan and Works and the 2014 Duteau Creek Watershed Assessment Response Plan.


Challenges to maintaining a healthy Duteau Creek watershed include:

  • Livestock access to creeks
  • Illegal dumping
  • Mountain pine beetle and other forest diseases
  • Education and Communications
  • Camping in non-designated areas
  • Drought
  • Climate change
  • Erosion

Kalamalka Lake:

A watershed assessment was initiated for Kalamalka Lake to compile new research and known data to identify the North Kalamalka Lake intake’s strengths and its liabilities, and to identify future needs to maintain excellent quality, cost-effective water supply to the RDNO-Greater Vernon Water system.  The North Kalamalka Lake Intake Assessment Response Plan 2017 was endorsed by the Board of Directors on April 19, 2017.

On-going projects include:

Reports and completed projects:

Challenges to maintaining a healthy Kalamalka Lake watershed include:

  • Livestock / horse access to creeks
  • Waterfowl / gulls on beaches
  • Stormwater outfalls
  • Lack of riparian vegetation
  • Illegal dumping
  • Mountain pine beetle
  • Transportation corridors
  • Manicured lawns to stream banks
  • Development up to the stream's edge
  • Recreational water use
  • Erosion
  • Urban and agricultural runoff
  • Overuse of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers

Project example - Vulnerability Mapping

Click on map to view larger image.

Drought Management Plan:

A Drought Response or Management Plan is a strategy that outlines the actions to be taken before, during, and immediately after a drought to reduce its impacts.


Please direct enquiries to:
Phone: 250-550-3700
Fax:     250-550-3701
E-mail: [email protected]