Ministry of Agriculture



About 97% of water licensed in British Columbia is for power production, including storage for power production. The remaining 3% of water licensed is for consumptive uses such as industrial, commercial, drinking water or agriculture.

It is imperative that we manage this essential agriculture water allocation in the most efficient manner possible.

On this webpage you will find information about a number of agriculture water management strategies and projects being undertaken in British Columbia.

Agriculture Water Demand Model
Living Water Smart - BC's Water Plan
British Columbia's Water Act Modernization
Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy




Agriculture Water Demand Model

Agriculture Water Demand Model - Report for the Okanagan BasinAn Okanagan Basin study of surface water and groundwater resources (the Water Supply and Demand Project) was initiated by the Okanagan Basin Water Board. The Demand Project is complementary to the Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy.

The Agricultural Water Demand Model for the Okanagan Basin was developed to provide current and future agriculture water demands for the Okanagan Basin. The intent of the model is to help fulfil the province’s commitment under the Living Water Strategy to reserve water for agricultural lands.

The model calculates water use on a property by property basis and sums each property to obtain a total for the entire basin or sub basins. Crop, irrigation system type, soils and climate data are used to calculate the water demand. Lands within the Agriculture Land Reserve were included in the project.





In addition, Demand Project reports are also available for the following areas of the province of British Columbia:

Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Nicola Watershed   Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Cowichan Valley   Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Kettle Watershed


Nicola Watershed   Cowichan Valley   Kettle Watershed  
Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Similkameen Watershed   Ag Water Demand Model - Report for Metro Vancouver   Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Regional District of Nanaimo
Similkameen   Metro Vancouver   Regional District
of Nanaimo
Ag Water Demand Model - Report for the Bonaparte Watershed        
Bonaparte Watershed          



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Living Water Smart- BC's Water Plan

Living Water Smart book

As a finite resource, water’s limits must be recognized. We have to carefully manage our water to ensure this precious resource is available for everyone.

Living Water Smart provides government’s vision for sustainable water stewardship.

To find out more about this plan visit the Living Water Smart website.



British Columbia's Water Act Modernization

The government of British Columbia recognizes the importance of water and has embarked on a Water Act modernization process which will deliver a new Water Act by 2012.

The modernization of the Water Act is one of the actions and targets of Living Water Smart - BC's Water Plan.

The Water Act is the principal law for managing the diversion and use of provincial water resources. The new legislation will place a greater emphasis on the value of water and on conservation measures.



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Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy

Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy publicationThe Okanagan Basin Water Board has developed a Sustainable Water Strategy for the Okanagan Basin.

An Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy was initiated by Land and Water British Columbia in 2004 in response to significant pressures being exerted on the water resources in the basin.

The strategy builds on many of the initiatives that have been outlined in the Living Water Smart plan.

The Okanagan Sustainable Water Strategy is meant to be a living document that will change with time under the principle of adaptive management.

Continuous reassessment and improvement of the Strategy will be conducted in order to manage uncertainties and allow new knowledge to be incorporated as it emerges.