SS4.11 Water and Society - Science and Management in a Social and Economic Context
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 4:30:00 PM
Location: Carson A
 
PerrinCJ, Limnotek Research and Development Inc, Vancouver, Canada, cperrin@limnotek.com
 
A PROCESS BASED ON ECOLOGICAL SCIENCE FOR DETERMINING WASTEWATER TREATMENT NEEDS AND WATER USE PLANNING IN THE CHEAKAMUS RIVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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The Cheakamus River is a focal point of a recreational corridor in southwestern British Columbia, best known by the presence of the resort Municipality of Whistler, a year-round destination resort. The river receives discharge of treated wastewater from Whistler and a proportion of flow is diverted for power production. In 1996 through 2000, chemical, biological, and physical measurements were made at multiple sites in the river over all seasons. Resulting data supported a regression-based model to predict benthic invertebrate biomass as a function of several predictor variables, where benthic invertebrate biomass was considered an important index of water quality. The model was highly significant, explaining 72% of the observed variation in benthos biomass. Use of the model contributed to decisions on treatment needs at the Whistler wastewater treatment plant and it contributed to a decision-making process to specify water releases from the dam to support downstream water use. The model can be upgraded to set guidelines for future wastewater treatment and water use in the Cheakamus River valley, including needs for the possibility of the 2010 Winter Olympics.