Maintaining watershed health using GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing

h/t student in Intro to GIS

Two districts in Manitoba are beginning to use GIS, remote sensing and GPS technology to monitor the water availability in their communities. These districts, the West Souris River Conservation District and the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District are mainly rural farming communities. They plan to use GIS to improve their current watershed management practices. GIS technology also allows them to predict future patterns, which is essential for resource management.

One of the technicians working in the area, Dean Brooker, cites contamination as an issue that can be analyzed using GIS. If the source of the contamination is mapped out, the source can be found and the contamination can be contained.

Watershed health problems also include issues relating to ecosystem health. Brooker is mapping out leafy spurge infestations (i.e., weeds that overtake communities and threaten native species). Without GIS, these would be identified in the field, but with remote sensing can be done remotely. This is much less time consuming and more cost efficient. The area of weed infestation also can be determined.

The two districts have also started conservation programs with Ducks Unlimited to protect wetlands in these areas. GIS programs are used to quickly determine if farmers’ land is indeed wetlands, and whether they are eligible to participate in the conservation program.

The communities are also offering training to employees in GIS programs. They initially expected a low turnout of those interested in the training programs but have had overwhelming interest. Clearly, these employees see the potential use of GIS in maintaining watershed health. Funding for the project was provided by GeoConnections, which promoted this application on their website.

3 Responses to “Maintaining watershed health using GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing”

  1. Wow… I did know that much about GeoConnections… It’s really impressive… It partially resolve the issue of GIS accessibility. Wow, really impressive and GIS technology is the future… I personally enjoy using GIS. It’s basically a wide opened software where you do whatever you want and using it for Social, Biological, Health, Environmental issues make me smile!
    For my project, GIS will allow me to create maps of my projections of Québec tree species (niches and not population) over time and therefore help my donators to adapt their management strategies at a regional scale. They will have a better idea about “what are the impacts of Climate change on biological system in the province of Québec”.

  2. I forgot to mention to the fact that it’s not only donators that will take advantage of the CC-Bio ( work but everyone will and the end product of this project (Atlas of Biodiversity in Quebec) will be a nice starting tool to create some Environmental policies (Ultimate goal).

  3. sieber says:

    Great. The normative agenda of GIS.