As we move into 2020, the Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program will continue to partner with well owners to monitor groundwater levels to assess how they change seasonally and year to-year.
We monitor existing groundwater wells that are not used to withdraw water so that ambient aquifer conditions are measured rather than drawdown from pumping in a particular well. Currently, the Program is monitoring wells in or near the Basin communities of ʔaq̓am, Blewett, Brisco, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Creston, Duhamel, Fairmont, Invermere, Playmor Junction, and Windermere.
The most recent data for the majority of these sites are available on the BC Real-time Water Data website. The data helps citizens, community groups, water managers, water licensing officers, consultants and researchers understand groundwater conditions to inform water management and conservation actions.
We wrapped up 2019 with attending the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council Agricultural Forum where we had an opportunity to learn from the agricultural community about water use and concerns and share information on the Groundwater Monitoring Program.
We also recently established an agreement to monitor an existing well on The Nature Trust of British Columbia’s Hoodoos Conservation Property north of Fairmont Hot Springs (click photos below to expand). This well provides a monitoring site on the benches of the Columbia Wetlands, which are likely important areas for groundwater recharge.
In 2020, in addition to monitoring the existing wells in the Program, we will establish additional monitoring sites across the Columbia Basin:
- to increase awareness about groundwater;
- to provide local site-specific data for use in groundwater management, and;
- to guide conservation actions and adaptation to climate change.