The Nechako Watershed Portal

The Nechako Watershed Portal is a web-based, geospatial tool to foster information exchange and hopes to assist in land and water decision-making in the Nechako River Basin. Since everything valued by communities (social, cultural and economic features) can be expressed in spatial terms and represented on a map, this portal is a tool that has the ability to help round out the description of what is (and what has occurred) in the watershed. The portal aims to create space for capacity that can expand and adapt the knowledge base through a ‘community library’ with georeferenced information. Sharing and accessibility are key concepts in this project.

This project is important because it will have the ability to surface otherwise hidden information about local natural, human and cultural resources and display different knowledge systems through new ways to profile and share values, land/water use and health (pictures and videos). This tool will also have the potential to help create a focal point for discussions on watershed issues, and it’s a new method to engage the different communities and interest groups in the Nechako and beyond.

Key characteristics:

  • To educate about issues and interrelationships of environment, community and/or health/wellbeing issues;
  • To assist in profiling or evaluating programs, plans, and activities;
  • To increase accessibility of information of different forms;
  • To profile different kinds of knowledge (e.g. research knowledge, traditional knowledge, community knowledge) about issues of concern;
  • To profile the results of assessments or monitoring;
  • To depict information to inform decision-making processes.

The Nechako Watershed Portal work is influenced by a previous project titled “Ecohealth & Watersheds in Northern BC”. This project was supported by the CIHR Knowledge Translation Branch, through a Knowledge to Action Operating Grant. This Knowledge to Action project was a co-led by the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) – Northern Health (NH).