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Aquatic ecosystems are becoming of increasing concern in environmental management for both their ecological and socio-economic value. The effects of development and water use on the quality and quantity of surface water are increasingly subject to investigation and management to mitigate the effects of human activities. IRIS' professional scientists offer a wide range of skills and expertise related to these fields in the aquatic sciences.

Collection of scientific data on aquatic ecosystems forms the basis of informed decision-making for project management. IRIS and its associates provide scientific expertise in topics related to aquatic ecosystems management, such as fisheries, invertebrates, riparian zones, limnology, wetlands evaluation, wildlife, hydrology, instream flow needs analysis, water quality and chemistry, hydrogeology, geology and geomorphology, and geographic information systems (GIS).  IRIS has the skills necessary to assess issues in aquatic ecosystems management whether a project affects a local area or an entire drainage basin.
From baseline and inventory studies; to impact assessments; to water conservation measures; and habitat restoration and remediation, IRIS has the capability to conduct aquatic ecosystem research and management studies. The design of aquatic resources studies will also address the requirements of local regulations. In Canada this can include federal legislation such as the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and provincial legislation such as the Alberta and British Columbia Water Acts, the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act. In addition, IRIS has worldwide, related experience in this field from a variety of projects. Among others, IRIS’ expertise in aquatic sciences has been applied to the Energy (Petroleum & Natural Gas, Coal-bed Methane), Tourism & Recreation, Transportation, Mining, and Urban Development sectors.

Fisheries
IRIS has the expertise to design and conduct studies of fish populations and habitat to identify key factors to consider in environmental impact assessment. IRIS and its team of experts can propose suitable mitigations to clients or develop plans for the restoration of fish populations and habitat in previously disturbed areas. For Canadian clients, IRIS can address the requirements of the Canada Fisheries Act in project design, implementation, and follow-up.

Watercourse Crossing Permits
Working with design engineers, IRIS identifies the environmental sensitivity components of watercourse crossings, including the inspection of fisheries habitat, size of watercourse, flow characteristics, slope stability, and mitigation and compensation measures. IRIS also assembles this information for submission to the appropriate federal and provincial agencies for permit approvals and authorizations.
Biomonitoring
For projects or installations where long-term monitoring or follow-up is required to ensure the continued protection of aquatic habitat, IRIS can design and implement cost-effective, site-specific monitoring programs. Environmental factors incorporated in such a program can include fish population monitoring, fish movements, benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring, aquatic and riparian habitat assessment, water quality, and hydrology.

Water Withdrawal Research and Monitoring
IRIS will design, undertake, and present data and analysis required for water withdrawal projects for short-term or extended water withdrawals for potable or other purposes. Where applicable, IRIS will undertake background studies and applied research required to meet environmental impact assessment requirements. IRIS designs, conducts, and reports on required monitoring programs, transfers related technology, and develops guidelines and management capacity for monitoring and related enforcement.

Some of our clients…

In Canada:
Resorts of the Canadian Rockies Inc.
Denford Builders Ltd.
EnCana Corporation
Columbia Valley Protection Society

Internationally:
Gov’t of Jamaica, Mines and Quarries Division
CIDA Southern Africa Wetlands Monitoring
CIDA Ukraine & Belarus Dneipro River
Malaysia: State of Johor Water Supply

Other Related Services Include:

  • Water Quality
  • Ground and Surface Hydrology
  • Watershed Management
  • Parks, Protected Areas, & Biodiversity Management
  • Geographic Information Systems & Mapping
  • Project & Program Impact Assessment, Mitigation, & Monitoring
 
 
 
  IRIS' Alberta-based First Nations projects can be conducted through our Joint Venture aboriginal business, Harmony Walkers Inc.  
     
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