Fraser Basin Council


9.1 Information Tools and Resources


9.1.1 Online Resources

BC Groundwater Association

BC Hydro's Regional Hydromet Data – Provides near real-time hydro meteorological data from automated collection stations in or near our reservoir systems across the province.

BC Ministry of Environment’s Environmental Protection Division, Water Quality – Provides information about water quality in BC, including water quality guidelines, water quality objectives reports, water and sediment quality monitoring reports, area-specific studies and links to other relevant information.

BC Ministry of Environment’s Groundwater Wells and Aquifer Database (WELLS) – Displays information related to the water resources of the Province of BC, such as watersheds, water quantity and quality monitoring sites, aquifers water wells and flood protection works.

BC Ministry of Environment’s River Forecast Centre – Provides access to, and interpretations of, snow, meteorological and streamflow data to provide warnings and forecasts of stream and lake runoff conditions around the province.

Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Source To Tap
National website where you can learn about protecting Canada’s water quality, and what governments across the country are doing in terms of research, monitoring, and guidelines.

Columbia Basin Trust, Communities Adapting to Climate Change
This site is a regional planning and action initiative to help local governments and First Nations start to prepare for climate change impacts. An excellent publication for a general understanding of the issues in a specific location.

Environment Canada’s Canadian Weather Data Services
Provides Canadians with up-to-date information on past, present and future weather conditions and offers multiple data access services to specialized users.

Environment Canada’s Real-Time Hydrometric Data – Provides public access to real-time hydrometric (water level and streamflow) data collected at over 1700 locations in Canada.

National guide to sustainable infrastructure.

Know Your Watershed
Searchable website from which you can generate a map of your local watershed.

Living Water Smart
Living Water Smart is the provincial government’s plan to keep our water healthy and secure for the future. This site also includes information on the modernization of the Water Act in BC.
The province maintains a Drought Information page and may initiate Drought Management Advisories and Directives for certain areas of the province.

Municipal Sustainable Bylaw Collection
A resource published by Federation of Canadian Municipalities highlighting excellent examples of bylaws, policies and procedures implemented by small and large Canadian municipalities in each sector of activity supported by the Green Municipal Fund.

*Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), Plan To Adapt
This tool is designed to help assess climate change in a region by providing information on maps and in graphs and data tables based on a standard set of climate model projections. Users can view the information online as well as download data for further analysis, reporting and presentation.

Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC and Waterbucket
The Partnership is helping the Province of British Columbia implement the Living Water Smart and Green Communities initiatives. We are doing that through shared responsibility in delivering the Water Sustainability Action Plan. Waterbucket is a rich, highly interactive ‘designation location’ for timely and provocative information about water sustainability in British Columbia.

Re-Tooling for Climate Change
The ReTooling for Climate Change website is a first stop for elected officials and staff of local governments, First Nations, and everyone else interested in learning about climate change adaptation.

Water Balance Model
The vision for the Water Balance Model (WBM) as a practical decision support tool that bridges engineering and planning. The WBM provides a continuous simulation of the runoff from a development area, or from a watershed with multiple land uses, given the following inputs: continuous rainfall data, evapotranspiration data, site design parameters, source control information, and soils information. Historic rainfall data can be modified to create climate change scenarios within the WBM. For an example of how the WBM can be used to guide planning and design decisions about source controls for low impact development see

Water Conservation Calculator
The Water Conservation Calculator is an on-line user-friendly tool geared for water purveyors of smaller communities. Its purpose is to illustrate how specific conservation measures yield both fiscal and physical water consumption savings. Smaller communities often cannot allocate resources to traditional infrastructure projects or cannot budget for the development of professional water conservation/efficiency plans. Water purveyors can use the tool to assist in presenting their conservation case to council and other decision makers.

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9.1.2 Climate Change, Impacts and Adaptation

In order to identify and manage climate-related risks in the context of water and watershed planning, communities need easy-to-understand information about past and future climate change and its impacts on water, watersheds, and aquatic ecosystems across British Columbia. This section provides links to up-to-date information on climate change and impacts on water. Those resources created in easy-to-understand language for non-technical users are identified with an asterix (*).

*Black, R.A., J.P Bruce and M. Egener (2010). Adapting to Climate Change: A Risk-Based Guide for Local Governments in British Columbia. Volume 1.

*British Columbia Ministry of Environment (2007). Environmental Trends: Climate Change Indicators. This document includes information on changes in air temperature, ocean temperature, precipitation, and sea level in BC. It is similar to Fraser, 2002 (listed below), but includes more detail on some indicators.

*Columbia Basin Trust (2006). Climate Change in the Canadian Columbia Basin - Starting the Dialogue. Columbia Basin Trust, BC.

Dawson, R.J., A.T. Werner, and T.Q.Murdock (2008). Preliminary Analysis of Climate Change in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

*Fraser, J. (2002). Indicators of Climate Change for British Columbia, 2002. BC Ministry of Environment, Victoria. (22 December 2010). Although somewhat dated, this document describes in plain language historic changes in climate, potential future changes, and the impacts on water and aquatic ecosystems.

Murdock, T.Q., J. Fraser, and C. Pearce, editors, (2007). Preliminary Analysis of Climate Variability and Change in the Canadian Columbia River Basin: Focus on Water Resources. Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, Victoria BC.

Pearce, C.  (2011). Pathways to Climate Resilience – A Guidebook for Canadian Forest-based Communities. This aims at helping small, rural communities prepare for climate change.

Pike, R.G., K.E. Bennett, T.E. Redding, A.T. Werner, D.L. Spittlehouse, R.D. Moore,
T.Q. Murdock, J. Beckers, B.D. Smerdon, K.D. Bladon, V.N. Foord, D.A. Campbell, and
P.J. Tschaplinski (2010). Climate Change Effects on Watershed Processes in British Columbia. Chapter 19 from Compendium of forest hydrology and geomorphology in British Columbia. Forum for Research and Extension in Natural Resources (FORREX). The Compendium consolidates current scientific knowledge and operational experience into 19 peer reviewed chapters. Chapters in the Compendium summarize the basic scientific information necessary to manage water resources in forested environments, explaining watershed processes and the effects of disturbances across different regions of British Columbia.
*Pike, R.G., D.L. Spittlehouse, K.E. Bennett, V.N. Egginton, P.J. Tschaplinski, T.Q. Murdock, and A.T. Werner (2008a). A Summary of Climate Change Effects on Watershed Hydrology. BC Ministry of Forests and Range, Research Branch, Victoria BC. Extension Note 87. This 4-page document summarizes information in Pike et al 2008b and 2008c.

Pike, R.G., D.L. Spittlehouse, K.E. Bennett, V.N. Egginton, P.J. Tschaplinski, T.Q. Murdock, and A.T. Werner (2008b). Climate change and watershed hydrology Part I – Recent and projected changes in British Columbia. Streamline Watershed Management Bulletin. Vol. 11. No 2.

Pike, R.G., D.L. Spittlehouse, K.E. Bennett, V.N. Egginton, P.J. Tschaplinski, T.Q. Murdock, and A.T. Werner (2008c). Climate change and watershed hydrology Part II – Hydrologic implications for British Columbia. Streamline Watershed Management Bulletin. Vol. 11. No 2.

Richardson, G. R. A. (2010). Adapting to Climate Change: An Introduction for Canadian Municipalities. Ottawa, Ont. Natural Resources Canada.

Rodenhuis, D. et al. (2009). Climate Overview 2007: Hydro-climatology and Future Climate Impacts in British Columbia.

*Walker, I.J. and Sydneysmith, R. 2008. British Columbia: in From Impacts to Adaptation, Canada in a Changing Climate 2007. Edited by D.S. Lemmen, F.J. Warren, J. Lacroix and E. Bush. Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON.

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9.1.3 Water and Watersheds

BC Ministry of Community Development. A Guide to Green Choices: Ideas and Practical Advice for Land Use Decisions in British Columbia Communities.

BC Ministry of Environment (1999). Water Conservation Strategy.

BC Ministry of Environment (2001). Drinking Water Protection Plan: A Discussion Document. Victoria, BC.

BC Ministry of Environment (2002). Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia. Victoria, BC.

BC Ministry of Environment (2006). Develop With Care: Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia. Victoria, BC.

BC Ministry of Environment. (2008). Living Water Smart: British Columbia’s Water Plan.

BC Ministry of Environment (2009). Dealing With Drought: A Handbook for Water Suppliers in British Columbia. Victoria, BC.

BC Ministry of Environment (2010). British Columbia’s Water Act Modernization: Discussion Paper.

BC Ministry of Environment (2011). Water Allocation Plans.

BC Ministry of Environment, Environment Canada, BC Groundwater Association (2006). Well Protection Toolkit. Note this includes a fictional example of Well Protection Plan For Pumphandle, BC).

BC Ministry of Health Services (2002). Action Plan for Safe Drinking Water in BC. Victoria, BC.

BC Ministry of Health Services and Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection (2004). BC Drinking Water Source To Tap Screening

BC Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport (2010). Comprehensive Drinking Water Source To Tap Assessment Guideline.

Bowker Creek Initiative (2010). Bowker Creek Blueprint. Prepared with assistance from Westland Resource Group Inc., Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd., and Murdoch de Greef Inc., Victoria, BC.

Brandes, Oliver M., Tony Maas, and Ellen Reynolds (2006). Thinking Beyond Pipes and Pumps: Top Ten Ways Communities Can Save Water and Money. University of Victoria.

Brandes, Oliver, Renzetti, Steve, and Kirk Stinchcombe (2010). Worth Every Penny: A Primer on Conservation-Oriented Water Pricing. Victoria, BC: University of Victoria, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance.

Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. Source To Tap.

Cox, Robert K, and Judith Cullington (2009). Wetland Stewardship Partnership (2009). Wetland Ways: Interim Guidelines for Wetland Protection and Conservation in British Columbia. Prepared for the Wetland Stewardship Partnership, Vancouver, BC.

Curran, Deborah (2007). Green Bylaws Toolkit for Conserving Sensitive Ecosystems and Green Infrastructure. Prepared for the Wetland Stewardship Partnership, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Grasslands Conservation Council of BC, Environment Canada, and The Province of BC.

Drinking Water Leadership Council (2007). Drinking Water Officers Guide. Victoria, BC.

Fraser Basin Council (2005). Authorities Affecting Source Water Protection in British Columbia: Research Paper. Prepared for Environment Canada. Vancouver, BC.

Heathcote, Isoble W., Integrated Watershed Management, Principles and Practice. John Wiley & Sons Inc., 1998.

Inter-Governmental Partnership (2007). Beyond the Guidebook: Context for Rainwater Management and Green Infrastructure in British Columbia.

Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. (2005). Template for Integrated Stormwater Management Planning. Prepared for Metro Vancouver. Burnaby, BC.

McGuire, Gordon, N. Wyper, M. Chan, A. Campbell, S. Bernstein and J. Vivian (2010). Re-inventing Rainwater Management: A Strategy to Protect Health and Restore Nature in the Capital Region. A Submission to the Capital Regional District on behalf of the Veins of Life Watershed Society by the Environmental Law Clinic, University of Victoria. Victoria, BC.

Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) (2009) Groundwater Bylaws Toolkit: An Appendix to the Green Bylaws Toolkit. Kelowna, BC.

Okanagan Water Stewardship Council (2008) Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy: Action Plan 1.0. Coldstream, BC.

POLIS Water Sustainability Project (2010) Action H20 Water Sustainability Charter and WaterSmart Toolkit. Victoria, BC. Available at:

Province of BC (1998). Water Use Plan Guidelines. Victoria, BC.

Rosenau, Dr. Marvin L and Angelo, Mark (2000). Water Use Planning: A Tool to Restore Salmon and Steelhead Habitat in British Columbia. Prepared for the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council. Vancouver, BC.

Rutherford, Susan (2009). Bill 27: Opportunities and Strategies for Green Action by BC Local Governments. West Coast Environmental Law, Vancouver, BC.

US Environmental Protection Agency (2008). Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect our Waters.

Water Sustainability Committee of the BC Water and Waste Association (2004). Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia: Framework for Building Partnerships.

Watershed Watch Salmon Society et al (2009). Fish Out of Water: Tools to Protect British Columbia’s Groundwater and Wild Salmon. Vancouver, BC.

West Coast Environmental Law, BC Guide to Watershed Law and Planning.

Wetlands Stewardship Partnership (2007) Green Bylaws Toolkit for Conserving Sensitive Ecosystems and Green Infrastructure. (Environmental Law Clinic, University of Victoria).

Wong, Jennifer, Porter-Bopp, Susanne and Oliver M. Brandes (2009) Water Conservation Planning Guide For British Columbia’s Communities. The POLIS Project on Ecological Governance. University of Victoria. Victoria, BC.

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9.1.4 Watershed Planning and First Nations

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (2011). First Nation Watershed Management Tool. Winnipeg, Manitoba. “This three-year project will result in a First Nation Watershed Management Tool, comprised of a relevant and integrated framework, citizen workbooks and in-person and online training workshops to implement the framework and the management cycle for watershed planning, developed and piloted with our First Nation partners.”

Coastal Guardian Watchmen – on line support, resources and networking opportunities for BC coastal First Nations Guardian Watchmen Programs to monitor, steward and protect their lands and waters.

FORREX Watershed Planning Toolkit for First Nations – Forrex is in the process of developing a watershed planning toolkit for First Nations. The toolkit focuses on 100-150 agreements between the Province of BC and First Nations in forestry, looking at issues relating to economic access agreements, logging, forest tenure etc.

Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee (LMTAC) – provides support services to member local governments dealing with broader Aboriginal issues, including land management, servicing, inter-governmental relations, and communications with First Nations (in addition to coordinating the interests of 26 municipalities and regional governments in the Lower Mainland treaty negotiations).

New Relationship Trust Fund – In March 2006, the BC government enacted the New Relationship Trust Act as part of an overall initiative to start a new relationship between government and First Nations. The Trust holds a fund that is designed to provide First Nations with tools, training, and skills so they can participate in land and resource management as well as land use planning processes, and also to develop social, economic, and cultural programs for their communities. The independent Board of Directors is appointed by the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the BC Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Leadership Council, and the BC Government.

Union of BC Municipalities – On line Policy Documents and Initiatives for local governments and First Nations relating to Treaty, Governance, Memoranda and Protocols, and Building Relations.

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About Rethinking our Water Ways

This website is a guide to help BC communities learn more about planning for local watersheds and water resources, navigate current planning processes, consider relevant issues and challenges — including regional climate change impacts —  and build capacity to develop and implement plans.


The Rethinking our Water Ways guide and website are possible thanks to funding support from the BC Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Canada's Regional Adaptation Collaborative Program. The guide and website were launched and distributed through a series of regional workshops throughout BC, with funding contributions from the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program, Environment Canada and the Real Estate Foundation of BC. Learn more about our funders and advisors.

We want to hear from you

Share your suggestions for this website, and ideas for future water workshops, with:

Steve Litke
Senior Program Manager
T: 604 488-5358

About the Fraser Basin Council

Rethinking our Water Ways is an initiative of the Fraser Basin Council (FBC), a charitable non-profit society that advances sustainability in the Fraser River Basin, across BC, and beyond. Established in 1997, FBC brings people together from multiple sectors to learn about sustainability and find collaborative solutions to current issues. Learn more about FBC by visiting