It is hard to manage what you don't measure - groundwater is one of those elusive things that is relatively hard to measure, but with the use of groundwater level monitoring equipment, water table depth measurements can be taken on an ongoing basis to understand what is going on underground. This provides a means to observe if water levels are changing over time, to get early warning if supply may be impacted, and to better inform development that occurs in our region. The DWWP supported two initiatives as a part of this project....
BC Observation Well Network
To track ground water levels across BC, the provincial government has an Observation Well Network of wells that are dedicated to ongoing monitoring. Groundwater level monitoring equipment in these wells collects data on the water table - whether it is in decline, stable or on the rise.
In 2011, the DWWP program partnered with the province and the Geological Survey of Canada to expand the Observation Well Network in our region. With the assistance of grant funding, 16 wells were added to the network in three phases between 2011 - 2013. Some of these were newly drilled or cored, some were unused wells donated by private well owners. The total number of dedicated Observation Wells in the RDN is now 35.
For well water level graphs and well specific information, see the Interactive Maphere. There is also a new website to graphically view the water level data: here.
Read the Ground Water Canada article on the project here.
Volunteer Observation Wells
To expand water level data collection in our region beyond the provincial Observation Wells, 28 private well owners volunteered to have groundwater level monitoring equipment (level loggers) installed in their wells. The loggers record hourly level data; the data is downloaded by DWWP staff 4 times per year. Six of the loggers measure conductivity, to track saline (salt water) intrusion potential in coastal wells. The monitoring of volunteer wells began in the spring of 2013 and it will take a minimum of 5 -10 years of data collection to begin to see trends from the information gathered. Thank you to our volunteers!
If you are interested in volunteering your well for monitoring groundwater levels, please contact waterprotection [at] rdn.bc.ca