In periods of drought, a plan for effective communication is essential to address and mitigate drought/low flow impacts to the environment, economy and communities.
In 2010, the Nicola Watershed Community Round Table developed the Communication Plan for Low Flows in the Nicola Watershed in consultation with government representatives, water purveyors and water users. The Plan was developed to provide coordination for a drought response and to build awareness and understanding of the roles of government agencies (federal, provincial and local), local stewardship groups and others in responding to drought.
The partners in the Communication Plan are:
The communication activities to be undertaken by each partner in response to drought or the possibility of drought are defined in the Plan. They include news releases to the public, and information bulletins to appropriate agencies, water suppliers, First Nations, industry and stewardship groups, major licensees and other key stakeholders. Partners will be responsible for advising affected groups of current or expected conditions and recommending actions that can be taken in response to drought conditions.
As part of its commitment to provide ongoing information about drought to the residents of the Nicola watershed, the Round Table, in a partnership with the Province of BC and the City of Merritt, installed a drought level sign. The drought level for the watershed will be set by the Province and communicated to the Round Table. A member of the Round Table will then place a marker on the sign to indicate the drought level. This information will be updated as necessary and the marker will remain on the sign between May and October. The sign is located on Voght Street in Merritt. The Round Table hopes to construct two more signs and place them on Highway 8 and Highway 5A.
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