Climate change is expected to exacerbate threats to surface water sources for livestock and wildlife in the Cariboo region, an area already experiencing reduced surface water availability during extended dry periods. Water shortages reduce access to rangeland, and could lead to overgrazing in some areas and reduced productivity overall.
A set of pilot projects is underway to test and demonstrate water development approaches, focused on sustainable management of water resources in the context of a changing climate.
This project will:
monitor and evaluate the (3) existing pilot demonstrations over multiple production seasons;
conduct research on each site pertaining to parameters such as: costs and benefits of water developments, rangeland health, livestock carrying capacity, water quality and quantity, access to forage; and
develop knowledge transfer materials and coordinate knowledge transfer events based on the pilot projects. Knowledge transfer will include a workshop, presentations, fact sheets and field days and the development and dissemination of a calculator to determine Animal Unit Months with different livestock water and forage production scenarios.
The project will include direct economic analysis of practices in order to engage producers and support recommendations that may come out of research finding. This will provide producers with critical information about how piloted practices affect production and profits. The economic question and analysis will differ with respect to each pilot site, but each fact sheet/case study will include useful information for producers on the production economics of the water development.