Contact : David Sharpe (Project Leader)
This project aims to assess several regional key aquifers and add to the national inventory of studied aquifer systems in Canada (~30%). This goal will advance knowledge in 4 areas of the country, including complete flow characterization of individual aquifers to delineation of regional hydrostratigraphic units. This effort will produce groundwater quantity and quality maps and contribute to the National Groundwater Database. The resulting groundwater understanding will help governments assess the quality and sustainability of key aquifers in making water / waste management decisions. Activities will include issues of trans-boundary groundwater supply and potential impact of climate change on groundwater resources.
- Several major aquifer systems will be mapped, and new understanding on aquifer flow will help ensure a clean and sustainable groundwater supply. This will close gaps in knowledge of groundwater resources in Canada.
- The project will operate in BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario with a one to three-year life span (2006-2009). New maps, databases and knowledge of key Canadian aquifers will assist agencies in improving groundwater management.
- Individual aquifer assessments will quantify recharge-discharge, sustainable yield, and groundwater quality at regional scales.
Aquifer systems in southern Ontario
Contact: David Sharpe (Leader)
This sub-project will provide a first-order assessment of aquifer types in three key settings in southern Ontario (valleys, basins, moraines). This groundwater mapping will be carried out in partnership with provincial municipal, conservation, and local authorities. Our approach is two-tiered.
- Synoptic-scale work will characterize key aquifer systems for a Canadian Groundwater volume at the regional, southern Ontario scale (e.g. scope settings and knowledge gaps as a framework for first-order assessment.
- Aquifer system-scale mapping focuses on assessing typical glacial aquifer systems as a template for characterizing and modelling similar settings across Ontario and Canada.
The goal is to develop a classification system for glaciated terrain, according to aquifer types and systems based on inter-project associations and inter-agency support.
Aquifer systems in southern Manitoba
Contact: Marc Hinton (Leader)
This sub-project will provide a first-order assessment of aquifers in the Sandilands and within buried valleys in Southern Manitoba. Specifically, this sub-project will
- assess groundwater recharge and flow in the Sandilands aquifer complex and
- search for buried valley aquifers in southwestern Manitoba and delineate confined aquifers in the Sandilands.
The first task will integrate existing data to develop a groundwater flow model for the studied portion of the Sandilands aquifer. The purpose of the model will be to constrain the estimates of regional groundwater recharge and flow through the aquifer complex. The second task will use surface and borehole geophysics to search for and delineate buried aquifers and to define stratigraphic relationships in Southern Manitoba. Current geophysical survey techniques will be adapted and further developed for application in the Canadian Prairies.
Paskapoo aquifer system
Contact: Steve Grasby (Lead)
This sub-project will provide a detailed assessment of the Paskapoo aquifer recharge system. Specifically the sub-project will
- assess groundwater depression focused recharge processes to the aquifer, and
- characterise how till chemistry overlying the aquifer influences recharge waters and ultimately controls geochemistry of the aquifer waters.
Task one will involve cooperative work with the University of Calgary on the West Nose Creek research basin, and task two will included geochemical characterisation of laurentian and cordilleran tills and better definition of the till boundary and how it relates to underlying groundwater geochemistry. Results will aid development of groundwater flow models and our understanding of natural variability in groundwater quality. This project has two key aspects:
- better define the thickness distribution of surficial materials and characterize them geochemically; and
- better define recharge rates and processes.
Aquifer systems in the Okanagan Basin
Contact: Steve Grasby (Lead)
This sub-project will provide a first-order assessment of aquifers in the Okanagan Basin, British Columbia, with a focus on the Kelowna area. Specifically the sub-project will:
- develop a 3-D hydrogeological framework of glacial-fluvial sediments which form the principal groundwater supply,
- characterise controls on groundwater chemistry, and
- provide public outreach through support of the Okanagan Waterscape Poster.
The hydrogeological model will be developed through field mapping and analyses of historic well data. Geochemical work will include new sampling of wells in cooperation with UBC Okanagan. The constructed 3-D geological model will be the basis for groundwater modelling that will allow decision makers to better plan development and groundwater usage in the region.