Dr. Gilles Wendling
Advisors | Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program
Gilles Wendling first developed his love for groundwater when assessing the water demand and water supply for 100 new settlements in southern Mauritania in 1985. During this eye-opening experience, he recognized he did not know much about water wells. His Ph.D. research on the design of water wells filled that knowledge gap.
After working internationally, he started consulting in western and northern Canada for the mining and petroleum industries addressing groundwater contamination associated with their activities. Then, he decided to focus on the protection of aquifers and watersheds instead of working for parties responsible for water contamination. In 2005, Gilles started his own firm, GW Solutions, to have the freedom to focus on water supply, surface water and groundwater interaction, and watershed protection. GW Solutions conducts a large portion of its activities working with First Nations, recognizing that they are key stewards of the water. This has resulted in GW Solutions’ involvement in complex and high-profile projects such as the review of the Mount Polley tailings dam failure and its impact on the groundwater regime, the review of the Ajax Mine (for/with Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation), the review of the Teck Frontier project (Athabasca Chypewyan First Nation), and groundwater reserve estimates in Treaty negotiations for the Te’mexw Treaty Association, the Maa-Nulth Treaty group and the K’omocs First Nations.
Gilles is very interested in public awareness and education on water stewardship. He is a co-author of the book Canada’s Groundwater Resources, Rivera et al., 2013.
Carrying the genes of one of his ancestors who was a shepherd, Gilles enjoys the outdoors, whether hiking, ski mountaineering, or kayaking.