Water board to study groundwater flows in Mission Creek

Cyclists ride along the Mission Creek Greenway entrance near Lakeshore Drive.
Image Credit: File photo


CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Work begins soon on a research project to determine the extent of groundwater flows in Mission Creek and the effect of groundwater licenses on it.

“This is something we’ve wanted to know more about for a long time,” Okanagan Basin Water Board executive director Anna Warwick Sears says. “As development occurs on the Kelowna alluvial plain, as groundwater licenses are being issued, we need to know a lot more about the interaction between ground and surface water in Mission Creek.”

Plans are to measure creek flows at ten different points along the creek before and after the spring freshet. Those points will each be paired with a groundwater monitoring well at a certain distance from the creek.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has taken on the research project and is finalizing a partnership with the City of Kelowna, UBC Okanagan and the South East Kelowna Irrigation District.

Warwick Sears says many different groups have an interest in the outcome of the project, which will be conducted by workers from the various partner organizations including the Okanagan Nation Alliance.

“This is going to be able to answer a lot of questions about where the groundwater is going,” she added. “It’s important to get a handle on this instead of just guessing.”

Ultimately, the information gleaned from the study will help determine whether new well licenses should be issued near Mission Creek, Warwick Sears adds.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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