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Location: Thompson, Merritt, BC
During PHASE 1 (Plan Initiation)) of the planning process leading to a water use management plan for the Nicola Watershed, the Multi-Stakeholder Committee identified three knowledge gaps which needed to be addressed in order to move forward. They were information on water demand, opportunities for water storage and information on the Nicola watershed’s water supply. Information on the water supply was scattered among a variety of reports, some dating back to the early 1980s. As for surface and groundwater interaction, information on the subject was minimal. The only portion of the watershed that had had any studies done in this area was the City of Merritt.
In order to provide a current and more complete picture of the Nicola watershed’s water supply, a surface and groundwater supply and interaction study has been undertaken.
Studies about a region’s water supply are by their nature expensive and may require several years of data collection before conclusions can be drawn. In designing the scope of the research, data collection and analysis for the study, available funding and timelines had to be taken into account. The Surface and Groundwater Supply and Interaction Study was designed to be carried out in three phases. Phase 1 would consist of reviewing existing water supply data and studies, compiling a summary from that information, identifying knowledge gaps and developing criteria for selecting areas for more in-depth study and analysis. Phase 1 would also describe surface water flows and forecast surface water supply. Phase 2 would utilize water supply data summarized in Phase 1 to suggest a conceptual water supply model and as part of this phase, a work plan would be developed for Phase 3. Phase 3 would collect further data in order to verify the conceptual water supply model.
The objectives of the Surface and Groundwater Supply and Interaction Study were as follows: