Video: Shuswap Watershed Council shows off success of nutrient management projects

Grants for farmers help keep excess nutrients out of watershed

The Shuswap Watershed Council and UBCO researchers have been testing the Salmon River and Shuswap River for phosphorus levels. Grants have also been issued to help farmers in the valley keep excess nutrients out of the river. (File photo)

The Shuswap Watershed Council and UBCO researchers have been testing the Salmon River and Shuswap River for phosphorus levels. Grants have also been issued to help farmers in the valley keep excess nutrients out of the river. (File photo)

The Shuswap Watershed Council is trumpeting the success of the first round of projects on Salmon Valley farms aimed to reduce the excess nutrients getting into the watershed.

Nutrients such as phosphorus being washed into the Salmon River and on to Shuswap Lake are considered a probable cause of recent algae blooms.

The four farm projects featured in a video recently released by the watershed council were assisted by grants from the watershed council aimed at nutrition management projects.

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“Nutrients are an important factor of water quality and soil health,” said Erin Vieira, program manager for the watershed council.

“Our goal with the grant program is to help farmers keep nutrients on the land and in the soil, not washing off into nearby creeks and rivers through rain, snowmelt or flooding. It’s a win-win situation for the farms and for our water quality.”

Lakeland Farms, Hillside Dreams Goat Dairy, Swaan Farms and Grass Root Dairies, all located in the Salmon Valley, received grants to put towards storage tanks and other management systems to keep effluent from their livestock and other operations out of the Salmon River.

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A fifth grant was awarded to the BC Cattlemen’s Association in partnership with the Splatsin First Nation.

Vieira said the success of the nutrient management work on the farms, which received the grants last year, has driven interest in future funding.

The watershed council has now confirmed the water quality grants will return in 2021 with applications opening in February. Vieira said the opening of applications would be widely advertised and further questions can be directed to her or Mike Simpson at the Watershed Council.

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