The brand new SLWSS Geographic Information System (GIS) demonstrated at CARL 2016 received rave reviews from participants.
Two mapping technologies, QGIS and Google Earth Pro, have been applied to compile and display watershed information for stewardship applications. Here are a few examples:
Note: Click on any image to enlarge it
Where is the boundary of the watershed.? It must be there somewhere.
This image shows several different perimeters, one based on an Alberta Hydraulic Unit map that only encloses part of the watershed; A wiggly white one that makes no sense; and a practical red one that accurately follows the high land.
A Google Earth Pro survey tool allow precise identification of changes in the slope of the basin using satellite-based ground elevation data. Regional tributaries shown above in purple flow into and away from Sylvan Lake depending on the topography.
This next colorful map shows a few of the many layers of GIS data acquired from Alberta and national data banks:
Ground topography; Lake bathymetry; Soil types; Roads; Tributaries; The watershed boundary; Fishery survey stations; Railroads
In the image above, GIS survey tools are overlaid on this Town of Sylvan Lake imagery to locate the 50th Street ridge that determines if stormwater flows east and out of the watershed to the Red Deer River, or west towards Golf Course Creek.
Green map pins at the peak of the ridge also define the area of the town that is inside or outside of the watershed boundary. Stormwater paths determine the direction of flow of any spilled contaminants or urban pollution. Sylvan Lake is exposed to that west side flow.
High resolution Google Earth Pro satellite imagery (one computer pixel can represent one square foot on the ground) and layers of GIS data, enable rapid investigation of land areas that are important for water quality protection.
The land between the railroad berms west of 60th Street is part of the recently annexed West Area five quarter sections that extend from Highway 11 to the lake shore.
Caution will be required to preserve the wetland services of that gully which is also the flow path of the important Golf Course Creek tributary.