The MFGA Aquanty Project

The MFGA Aquanty Project: Managing water resources with advanced simulation

Pembina LakeHydroGeoSphere Modelling Platform Development for the Assiniboine River Basin

Recent flood events in the Assiniboine River Basin have resulted in significant crop losses, property and infrastructure damage, leading to unprecedented Agri-Recovery claims above and beyond crop insurance. This project seeks to develop new risk management tools to reduce the impact of extreme flood or drought events for the agricultural industry within the Basin by identifying preventative measures, implementing risk prevention and mitigation activities, all with the intention of lessening the need for government disaster programming in response to such events.

This project will construct a hydrology model of the Assiniboine River Basin to model the effects of flood and drought on soils and topography as well as simulating various mitigation measures to lessen flood/drought event impacts on agricultural lands. The model will encompass the Assiniboine, Qu’Appelle and Souris sub-basins, as well as a more detailed drill down on the Birdtail watershed located in the upper reaches of the Assiniboine sub-basin.

The model will be multi-faceted, in that it will have the utility for assessing: flood, drought, and excess moisture risks to agricultural producers; flood risks to urban centers; as well as both flood and drought risk mitigation strategies within the ARB. The model will also serve as a tool to test the hydrologic sensitivity of the ARB to projected future climate conditions and different synthetic flood inducing snow melt and precipitation scenarios. It is anticipated that the model could become a standardized platform for a number of different stakeholders, including multiple levels of government, research institutes, and NGOs who want to perform targeted hydrologic analyses and research across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales within the ARB. Individuals such as primary agricultural producers and/or the business sector such as the oil and gas sector, may utilize the model on a much smaller scale, right down to individual fields or properties.

The project has two key objectives –
(1) to develop the customized, user friendly integrated hydrologic model for the Basin, and
(2) to develop a detailed model base assessment of how perennial forages, grasslands and wetlands influence the hydrologic characteristics of the Basin under conditions ranging from flood to drought, and may play a key role in moderating/mitigating the risks of flooding and drought.

Term of the Project: March 1, 2016 -March 31, 2018
Applicant/Recipient: Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA)
Primary Funder/Program: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Growing Forward 2, AgriRisk Initiative
Secondary Funding Partner: Manitoba Agriculture, Growing Forward 2, federal-provincial-territorial Initiative.
Key Partner: The Assiniboine River Basin Initiative (ARBI)

Read the MFGA Aquanty Project’s The Grasslander – Fall 2016

All photos in the Aquanty section are provided by @D.Derlago for the MFGA Aquanty Project