Ministry of Environment

Watershed Code and Waterbody Locator Query Help

The Watershed Code and Waterbody Locator Query allows users to find 1:50,000 Watershed Atlas Watershed Codes, RAB Watershed Codes and location information about a waterbody. Watershed codes can also be obtained at a watershed level, or by watershed group, forest district or by TRIM 1:20,000 mapsheet number.

The query can be used a few ways. If a waterbody has a Gazetted or an alias name, that name can be used to search for the waterbody code. Once the main waterbody code is obtained, that code can be used to find the rest of the watershed codes in that watershed.

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Example 1: User is looking for the watershed code for the Koksilah River and one of its tributaries that does not have a name.

Step 1: Type "Koksilah" into the Gazetted Name/Alias (Red box1 above). Next Click the Search Button (Red 10 above).
USER TIP: The search is not case sensitive and will return any Gazetted or Alias name in the database that in this case starts with the literal string "koksilah". The following results are returned:

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The watershed code for the Koksilah River is 920-257700-02300. The Koksilah River's parent stream is the Cowichan River which is watershed code: 920-257700. Watershed codes starting with 920 are all on the east side of Vancouver Island. The record returned is highlighted in yellow for demonstration purposes only. Scroll across the table to get the balance of the information such as RAB Watershed Code, UTM coordinates for the river mouth and stream length. The RAB Code for the Koksiah is 92-4800-020. RAB Codes are the original watershed code system. If you have an old RAB Code just type it in the appropriate field (Red box 4, image one) to find the new watershed code.

Step 2: To find all of the tributaries to the Koksilah River. Mouse over the "Koksilah"text from step 1 to highlight that text and then delete it. Next either type the watershed code into the appropriate field (Red 3, Image 1) or use the following user tip.
User Tip: To copy the watershed code into the new query without typing it in, mouse over the actual watershed code that is highlighted in yellow, Next use the "CTRL + C" keys to copy, then place the Mouse Cursor in the Watershed Code field and use the "CTRL +V" keys to paste the watershed code into that field. The text "Koksilah" from the first query still needs to be deleted prior to running the second query if this method is used.


The results for the entire watershed are then returned for viewing or for Export. Use the UTM coordinates for each tributary mouth or the other gazetted and alias names if present to locate the tributary of interest:

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Example 2: Using the Waterbody Identifer feature. Waterbody identifers are used to uniquely identify lakes. They consist of five numbers followed by the four character acronymn for the watershed group in which the lake is located. E.g.: Okanagan Lake is "00078OKAN"
To obtain the waterbody identifer for a named lake, just type in the lake name as done in Example 1 above. If the waterbody identifer is already known, just type it in to get the balance of the watershed code & locator information. The waterbody identifer can also be used in all other queries except the multiple waterbodies. Because the identifers are unique and represent only one lake, they cannot be used to run multiple-waterbody queries.

Important note: The Watershed Code Query is not returning or displaying waterbody identifer information in the query results at this time. This problem is being addressed. In the interim, if it is known, the waterbody identifer for a lake can still be used in the query field to return the balance of the locator infomation.
In addition, as an alternative, users can obtain watershed identifers for lakes at this time by typing in the name of named lakes into the Single Waterbody Query & obtaining the identifier by executing only Step one instructions in Example 1 above.

Example 3: Find watershed codes for all lakes in a Forest District or in a Watershed Group.


Users can get watershed code and locator information for things such as all lakes or all streams or both within a Watershed Atlas Group or within a Forest District, or by TRIM mapsheet number. Multilple fields can be combined. In the example above, all lakes in the Campbell River Watershed Atlas Group are being requested.

Asking something illogical such as Forest District = Mackenzie and TRIM mapsheet = 82E will not return any records at all because 82E is in the Okanagan, hundreds of kilometres away & no records meet both criteria submitted.