The Bow River Basin Council has launched a new website (State of the Watershed) to keep people informed about water conditions in the Bow River Basin and its 15 sub-basins.
State of the Watershed will alert users of any risks, threats, actions and responses, conditions and indicators and offer general information about the Bow River Basin watershed, including river flow quantity, water temperature, algae, total suspended solids, nitrate, phosphorous and E.coli. Users will also have access to monitor station data about nutrients, metals, pesticides, or bacteria present in the water.
“The new site improves the overall understanding of the basin through enabling the analysis and interpretation of data, research and trends. It contributes to responsible decision-making regarding water issues, and aims to engage the stakeholders, resource managers and the general public to make meaningful improvements for the basin’s management,” stated Mark Bennett, executive director of the Bow River Basin Council, in a news release.
“There is growing demand for accessible and reliable data regarding environmental resources and conditions for a particular region and we are contributing to that.
“Without tracking and sharing the state of the Bow River Basin, it’s impossible to develop a strategic and systematic approach toward sustainable management of the watershed,” wrote Bennett.
The Bow River Basin Council worked with the Alberta WaterPortal Society, a charitable organization dedicated to helping Albertans make informed water management decisions by providing access to water quality information, to create and deliver the new website.
“Watersheds and the Internet are dynamic, so the best way we can approach these constantly changing conditions is to build a platform that can handle future updates easily and incorporate new indicators of watershed health over time,” said Kim Sturgess, executive director of the Alberta WaterPortal Society.
Watersheds are land masses made up of small tributaries carrying water to a large river basin where interactions between water sources, lakes, wetlands, upland areas and wildlife occur. The Bow River Basin covers more than 25,000 square kilometres in southern Alberta and consists of 15 sub-basins reaching from Bow Lake in the Rocky Mountains to the joining of the Bow and Oldman rivers to form the Saskatchewan River.
The new Bow River Basin State of the Watershed website will continue to work with the Government of Alberta, the City of Calgary, and the ALCES Group to provide information on other indicators such as groundwater use, agricultural intensity and land use. Additional data will continue to be added to the site throughout summer and the Bow River Basin Council is currently collecting feedback on the site.
Visit the site at www.watershedreporting.ca for more details.