Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Study

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Forest Disturbance, Snow and Water Yield in South-Central British Columbia

More than 75% of people in British Columbia rely on surface water. In South-Central British Columbia, surface water is generated primarily by melting snow and snow-free season flows are largely sustained by groundwater. Since approximately 64% of BC is forested, most of the streams supplying the province’s surface water flow through forested landscapes. These forests also provide timber, cattle forage, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat and are affected by natural disturbance, including wildfire, insects and disease. Changes in forest cover, whether through natural disturbance, logging or climate change, affect snow accumulation and ablation, the interception of rainfall, evaporation, soil moisture and, consequently, streamflow.

Long-term forest hydrology research at Upper Penticton Creek focuses on improving our understanding of hydrologic processes and the effects of changing forest cover on the quantity, timing, and quality of water supplies. Research results will be used to develop planning tools and guidelines for sustainable timber and water production in a changing environment with increasing demands on a limited water supply.

Upper Penticton Creek

The Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Experiment: Integrated Water Resource Research on the Okanagan Plateau was established in 1985, 26 km northeast of Penticton to quantify the effects of clearcut logging on hydrologic processes, streamflow, water quality, aquatic habitat and channel morphology.

Abstracts Library

The Forest Hydrology Abstracts Library is a searchable database of reference abstracts for approximately 2500 papers published prior to the year 2000. The papers in this collection cover a wide range of topics relevant to forest hydrology. Contact Sheena Spencer for more information about the Abstracts Library and access to paper copies.

Research participants and partners

BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Environment and Climate Change Canada, FORREX, Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd., Okanagan Basin Water Board, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of Lethbridge and Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd.