Limnology of Metro Vancouver water reservoirs

Client: Metro Vancouver

Time: 2015 to 2023

Services: Monitoring design, Field crew quality control, data compilation and cleaning in R, data analysis and plotting in R, plankton assemblage patterns in Primer7, reporting, client support

Metro Vancouver receives water from three pristine watersheds and associated large and deep reservoirs nestled in rugged mountains immediately north of the City. The watersheds are protected with strict no access regulations . The coastal forests coupled with seasonal rainfall and snowpack produce clean and abundant year round water. Episodic turbidity is removed via treatment.

Despite these ideal conditions, a trend of drier and warmer weather from climate change may influence the biogeochemistry of the watersheds and reservoirs. Analyses of potential change to water yield and quality require ongoing limnological data collection and interpretations of that data.

This is where Limnotek comes in. We were awarded a project beginning in 2015 to design a water quality monitoring plan to address water quality questions, guide field staff of Metro Vancouver, manage the data stream, and interpret output from instruments, laboratories, and statistical routines. We annually report a clear understanding of how the reservoirs function, how they are linked to the upstream forests, how ecological processes are subtley shifting, and identify risks to support water management decisions by Metro Vancouver. This foundation of analysis has now been structured into key indicators for Metro Vancouver staff to follow and manage without the need for consulting input

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