July has been a very busy month for the Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program. Groundwater level monitoring equipment has been installed in wells in Canal Flats, north of Skookumchuk, and south of Silverton. Many thanks to the well owners for helping with equipment installation! Along with installation of equipment, Living Lakes Canada provided training to the well owners so they can view water level data in real-time and assist with the long-term data collection.
The well in Canal Flats is in a sand and gravel aquifer between the Kootenay River and Columbia Lake. It is a unique aquifer as water is flowing underground in this area from the Kootenay River to Columbia Lake, crossing the surface watershed divide between the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers. For more information check out this report on groundwater contributions to Columbia Lake by the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society. The Village of Canal Flats uses this groundwater as its water supply. The groundwater level data being collected will help the Village manage its water utilities and will provide information on long-term groundwater level trends.
The second set of monitoring equipment was installed approximately 16 km south of Canal Flats on the west side of Highway 95. It is approximately 3 km east of the Kootenay River and represents groundwater level conditions in the valley bottom.
The third set of equipment was installed on Red Mountain approximately 7.5 km south of Silverton. This is the second bedrock well in the program. There are now 16 wells with active groundwater level monitoring in the program and plans are underway to install at least three more later this summer. The majority of the wells are in sand and gravel, so we are excited to have a second bedrock well in the Program. The other bedrock well being monitored is in Blewett.
The Program aims to monitor groundwater across a range of geological, climatic, hydrological, and water use conditions across the Columbia Basin to gain a holistic understanding of groundwater conditions throughout the Basin.
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