Identifying and preserving groundwater in the Northeastern part of the province is the goal of a major project for Geoscience BC. It’s mapped more than 8-thousand square kilometers of earth.
Robin Archdekin has spent the past few days at the Premiers Natural Resource Forum. As the President of Geoscience BC, he’s been explaining the relevance of groundwater mapping to others in attendance.
“Groundwater mapping is where we fly over an area with some very sophisticated electronic equipment that is world leading. With that equipment we can tell what is below ground. So we can actually tell where the water is horizontally, where it’s located and also vertically where its located.”
The largest groundwater mapping project in the province’s history has just concluded. Archdekin says the purpose of mapping is to protect groundwater and shallow aquifers.
“We’ve just completed a big project in the Peace. We call it the Peace Project and that project covers quite a big area. To the northwest of Fort St. John, up to Pink Mountain, and it’s really mapping water below ground.”
The location of groundwater is relevant to all community members, including first nations. Keith Matthew sat on a panel at the forum called, “Working Together with the Land- First nations and Resource Management”. He says data from groundwater mapping helps members of First Nations communities make informed decisions.
“We like to operate with the best science available and that means having independent sources of information. What that means is if Geoscience BC, which has recently done a study around freshwater as an independent source of research you can trust that data.”
Archdekin saying the data collected by Geoscience BC benefits many groups.
“It’s important to first nations, it’s important to local communities, to governments and to the resource sector because they’re interested in where that water is so that they can protect it. They can use it and they can plan their resource management decisions around it.”
Information from the Peace Project will serve as a key component of the Northeast Water Strategy. The strategy is currently in development by Provincial and local governments, First Nations, and industry.
The results from the study are expected to be released later on in 2016.