Kamloops, B.C. – The City of Kamloops, in partnership with the Kamloops Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Community Futures Thompson Country, has recently completed a water demand modelling exercise for the City’s agricultural land base.
This project is funded in part by the City of Kamloops, Community Futures Thompson Country, Yellowhead Community Services, as well as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture through federal-provincial programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
The water demand model is a water management planning tool that calculates current and future agricultural water demands for areas within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and areas zoned for agriculture within the City.
Some of the findings are listed below.
- Climate change scenarios developed by the University of British Columbia and the Summerland Research and Development Centre predict an increase in agricultural water demand due to warmer and longer summers and lower precipitation during summer months in the future.
- Currently there are 12,816 hectares of land within the ALR in Kamloops.
- The total irrigated acreage in Kamloops is 1,265 hectares, with 70% supplied by licensed surface water sources, and 30% irrigated with groundwater.
- There is an opportunity to reduce water use by converting irrigation systems to a higher efficiency for some crops. In addition, using better management such as irrigation scheduling techniques will also reduce water use.
- Three climate change models were used in the report. Results show that in an extreme climate scenario, it is possible to have an annual water demand that is 18% higher than what was experienced in 2003 (a hot, dry year).
The soils mapping and full report from the analysis are available on the City’s website, allowing local farmers and the general public access to detailed water demand and soils information.