Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Experiment

The security of water supplies, the protection of aquatic habitat and the response of forested watersheds to land-use and climate change, are key issues of concern in the dry southern interior of British Columbia.

The Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Experiment was established in 1984 to:

  • improve our understanding of hydrologic processes in the southern interior,

  • quantify changes in hydrologic processes as a result of forest disturbance and regrowth, and

  • develop planning tools and guidelines for sustainable timber and water production in the Okanagan Basin.

Long-term experiments and environmental monitoring at Upper Penticton Creek focus on streamflow, water quality, snow accumulation and melt, the water balance, channel processes, nutrient cycling, aquatic ecology, and groundwater. With these data and results as the foundation, researchers are also working with computer models to understanding the effects of climate change, increasing water demand, alternative management strategies, and extensive natural disturbance on long-term water supplies.

The Upper Penticton Creek Watershed Experiment is a cooperative project led by the BC Government in collaboration with Environment Canada, FORREX, Gorman Brothers Lumber Co. Ltd., the Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of Lethbridge, University of Saskatchewan, and Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd.