The Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) project aimed to create a win-win situation for both agricultural and ecological users of the Salmon River watershed. By implementing a network of climate stations on farms within the Salmon Valley, coupled with an intensive education and outreach campaign on the practical use and application of climate data to maximize irrigation efficiency, the forage producers in the Salmon Valley will ultimately achieve greater irrigation efficiency at a watershed scale. This will benefit the river by leaving more water in the river for fish, and will benefit producers by maximizing the efficiency of their irrigation thereby reducing the cost and labor associated with irrigating. Changes in irrigation practices undertaken by the producer may include altering the timing and frequency of irrigation, and/or changing the tools used for irrigation.
The Fraser Basin Council’s role in this project was to build community support and awareness for irrigation BMPs, conduct an education/outreach campaign, support agriculture irrigation champions, and do broad outreach on irrigation BMPs and highlight the successes specific to the Salmon River watershed. The project objectives included: (1) Engaging and educating forage producers in the Salmon River Valley on the practical use and benefits of climate stations, and the application of climate data to achieve irrigation efficiency at the farm level; (2) to seek participation to implement a network of approximately 15 climate stations throughout the Salmon Valley ; and (3) to identify, synthesize, and promote the activities and results achieved in the Salmon Valley for agricultural producers and salmon in three different formats (regional, provincial, and national scales).The end result of this project is to improve the sustainability of the Salmon Valley agricultural community in harmony with the hydrological integrity of the Salmon River.