Upper Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program expands

During the last few months, Living Lakes Canada has been working behind the scenes to expand its Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program.

In early June with COVID restrictions easing up and social distancing protocols in place, we were able to get out in the field. We worked with a landowner and JR Drilling to increase the well casing stick up for an upgrade an existing well between Skookumchuk and Canal Flats so that it could be incorporated as a Volunteer Observation Well in the groundwater monitoring program. The modifications were made to the well to ensure it meets the Groundwater Protection Regulation and allow for installation of a water level meter and data logger.  The Groundwater Protection Regulation ensures that activities related to wells and groundwater are performed in an environmentally safe manner.  Information on the Groundwater Protection Regulation and how well owners can protect the quality and safety of groundwater resources are available HERE

There are now 14 wells in the Living Lakes Canada Groundwater Monitoring Program. Plans are underway to add more wells to the program this summer, including  ones on Red Mountain near Silverton, and in Grasmere, Canal Flats and Edgewood. The Program collects groundwater level data so that seasonal and annual groundwater level trends can be analyzed and forecasted.

The provincial government has mapped approximately 185 aquifers in the Upper Columbia Basin.  The Provincial Groundwater Observation Well Network has been monitoring wells in six of these aquifers and the Living Lakes Canada Groundwater Monitoring Program has monitoring wells in an additional 13.  Increasing aquifer specific knowledge about groundwater levels, flow, and storage can be used help protect and manage groundwater based on local conditions. 

“We are very grateful to the program’s partners and technical advisors,” says the Program Manager Carol Luttmer.  “The in-kind and technical support from industry partners  such as JR Drilling, Martech Motor Winding, GW Solutions, and Hydro-Geo-Logic have allowed dollars from funders to go much further.” 

The Program has received funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC, Columbia Basin Trust, Vancouver Foundation, and Royal Bank of Canada. 

COVID-19 UPDATE

The Living Lakes Canada Groundwater Monitoring Program  has been able to continue operation with staff working from home and Volunteer Observation Well owners downloading the data from wells on their properties.  Now that restrictions are easing up, we’ve been able to conduct field work following social distancing protocols. Maintenance is conducted on the Volunteer Observation Wells and existing wells are assessed for potential inclusion in the Program.

INTERNATIONAL WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

We are also excited that the International Water Resources Association has picked “Addressing Groundwater Resilience under Climate Change” as the theme for its 2020 conference.  Join the conference online October 29-30, 2020. The goal of the conference is to share state-of-the-art scientific and policy knowledge on the links between an increased resilience of groundwater resources and climate change for the sustainable governance, use and management of these resources in all regions of the world.

Visit https://www.iwra.org/onlineconference/

 
A volunteer landowner collects a water level measurement while JR Drilling looks on, after completing upgrades to the well. The new Volunteer Observation Well is between Skookumchuk and Canal Flats. LLC Photo

 

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