A collaborative research project based at Thompson Rivers University
What we do know:
- Urban watercourses are being degraded by post-storm peak flows (and storms are intensifying in our region, the Interior of British Columbia).
- Development in urban watersheds means more impervious surfaces and hydrological disconnect.
- Some trees may reduce the impact of runoff on stream habitat and water quality, but others may not.
- Various species intercept up to 60% of rain falling on them in North and West Vancouver.¹
Figure 1. What if urban trees reappeared in the bottom two scenarios?² This study will quantify various trees' production of stemflow (rain funnelled down the trunk).
What we didn't know:
- How do stemflow, canopy interception, and evaporation work in Kamloops' semi-arid climate?
- How do these processes vary with storm qualities and physical characteristics of urban tree species commonly planted in Kamloops?
- How much could runoff be reduced or groundwater recharge increased by planting certain trees?
How we explored these questions:
- Two-year study looking at 40 deciduous trees of 22 different species at McArthur Island Park in Kamloops over at least 30-40 rainfall events
- Application of relevant models to extrapolate results to watershed scale
- Public- and private-sector collaboration to ensure applicability of findings
What are the benefits?
- Better understanding of trees' role as a critical tool in the integrated stormwater management toolkit, specifically for these species in the semi-arid BC Interior
- Estimates of economic and environmental benefits to support planning and design decisions
- Groundwork for further research at the site, neighbourhood, and watershed scales
Thanks to our valued sponsors and collaborators:
We need volunteers!
Find out how you can become part of our team.
1 Asadian, Y. and M. Weiler. 2009. A new approach in measuring rainfall interception by urban trees in coastal British Columbia. Water Qual. Res. J. Can. 44(1):16-25.
2 Image Source: http://architecture.mit.edu
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