Groundwater stewardship is an important part of community water sustainability. Groundwater helps maintain water levels in rivers and lakes, which are vital for drinking, swimming and fishing, as well as for healthy ecosystems.
Baseline studies of groundwater quantity and quality, along with continued monitoring, help our communities and governments make careful management and allocation decisions, which will become increasingly important as populations continue to grow, demand rises, and pressures intensify.
We educate communities about groundwater management by actively involving volunteers in baseline groundwater data collection. This data is analyzed by a team of researchers and translated into a succinct and readable report that can be presented to decision-makers to guide them in land use and water planning for sustainable and water smart communities.
Our community-level groundwater monitoring projects would not be possible without the sharing of ideas across Canada’s and trans-boundary watersheds. Inspired by a similar project in Nova Scotia, Groundswell, we launched the very first groundwater monitoring project in British Columbia, in the town of Invermere. The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring in Carlisle, Pennsylvania has designed a protocol for volunteer monitoring in response to increasing shale gas extraction.