Ministry of Environment


Desktop watershed characterization methods for British Columbia

Author(s) or contact(s): R.G. Pike and D.J. Wilford
Source: Ministry of Environment
Subject: Climate, Hydrology, Mapping, Water Quality, Watershed
Series: Technical Report
Other details:  Published 2013. Hardcopy is available.


In recent years, the accessibility of online mapping tools and GIS information has dramatically increased. As a result, it is now possible to remotely gather information about a watershed's potential disturbance, hydrologic and climatic characteristics. The purpose of this report is to highlight current sources of online tools and watershed information, provide a template of potential disturbance drivers to consider and ultimately a list of questions that can be used to characterize a watershed's hydrologic regime. This technical report was developed to aid in the descriptive, hydrologic characterization of watersheds in British Columbia (B.C.). The techniques featured are intended to be a first order approximation of characterization, and should not displace the need for more precise information when required. The report is divided into three sections: (1) a watershed characterization template, (2) a narrative of working through the template using the Carnation Creek watershed on Vancouver Island, and (3) an example watershed characterization report write-up.

Technical Report 079 (2708 KB)

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Updated January 09, 2014