WATR 250 - Introduction to Freshwater Resources

An introduction to the science and practice of freshwater management with a focus on north-east BC watersheds and a range of applications for working in industry, local governments/First Nations and community organizations. The course is presented with a balance of perspectives, traditional knowledge integration and cross-cultural awareness to unders basic principles and concepts of hydrology. It then covers key features and functions for understanding and maintaining a healthy watershed including riparian zones, wetlands, and water bodies are covered. Key concepts in water resource science related to limnology, surface/groundwater flows and quality protection are explored with a preliminary opportunity to apply field measurement techniques. Local issues and activities from various perspectives are presented with particular attention to the practice of source water and aquatic habitat protection, regulatory considerations and integrated water management.




Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 38; Field Experience Hours: 7)

Total Weeks:  15


BIOL125 and LAND 245


Non-Course Prerequisites:




Course Content:
ntroduction to Water Science
- Watersheds, water cycles and water balance
- Contemporary issues in water management
- Global to local Indigenous perspectives on water
- Hydro-ecosystems and traditional ecological knowledge
- Water stewardship activities in the Peace
Riparian Zones
- Riparian area values and functions
- Fish management
- Stream classification system
- Stream habitat assessment
- Wetland features and classification system
- Wetland stewardship and enhancement
- Regional issues in wetland conservation
Applied Hydrology
- Flow measurements
- Building a stage curve
- Establishing a flow monitoring network
- Regional applications in surface hydrology
- First Nations watershed management experiences
Field Applications
- Community lake stewardship
- Drinking water treatment
- Groundwater monitoring
- Stream gauging
- Industry water issues and best practices
Introduction to Limnology
- Lake ecology fundamentals
- Stewardship practices
- Lake monitoring
- Regional issues and practices in lake stewardship
Groundwater management
- Aquifer classification, risk assessment and protection
- Regional applications in ground water monitoring for oil/gas development
- Groundwater monitoring techniques
Water Quality
- Protection quality standards and guidelines
- Ground/surface quality trends and issues
- Source Water Protection Plans
- Sampling procedures
Water regulation and management
- Water legislation framework
- Water sustainability act
- The North-east Water Strategy
- Towards watershed governance
Integrated water management
- Regional issues in climate change adaptation
- Aboriginal perspectives and experiences
- Water use monitoring and allocation
- Municipal and rural source water treatment and protection


Learning Outcomes:
Working within interior freshwater systems in a technical support role, the student will be able to:
- Identify a range of hydro-ecosystem types and component processes for healthy watershed function;
- Compare various perspectives on water including the role and application of indigenous knowledge and experiences;
- Identify key features of watershed degradation and restoration;
- Describe riparian zones, streams, wetlands and aquatic life relevant to undertaking land reclamation;
- Articulate public interest issues and solutions as they relate to community and regional water stewardship objectives;
- Analyze integrated water management issues of interest to industry, communities, First Nations and regulatory agencies
- Understand legal constraints, multiple resource values and water use objectives related to watershed restoration;
- Identify office-based referrals for water-related resource assessments to support land reclamation;
- Identify key factors in support of regulatory compliance
- Identify best-practices for integrated water management in industrial operations.


Grading System: Letter Grades


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 80


Percentage of Group Work: 20


Text Books:
Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.