Nanoose (Area E) Water Monitoring
The RDN and residents of Nanoose value sustainable water supply within the area. To better understand water in Area E, the RDN is working to collect more data and better information on local groundwater and surface water. Long-term monitoring of wells and streams will enable trends to be observed and management practices to be based on the state of the water resource.
In 2013, a preliminary Water Budget Study for the Regional District of Nanaimo was completed. This Nanoose-specific monitoring program is a follow-up to the regional water budget study, focusing on this sub-region.
Between 2015 and 2017, the RDN expanded water monitoring efforts within the geographical area, in order to develop a higher resolution understanding of groundwater and surface water characteristics in Nanoose. This will enable more refined water budget calculations that look at supply, demand and resulting stress level. Ultimately this information will be used to support sustainable development decisions and protect water resources over the long term.
Phase 1 of this long-term monitoring program commenced in the Parker Road area of Nanoose, in the immediate vicinity of where a new RDN water service area well is located. The objective of this phase 1 monitoring program is to understand long-term capacity of the aquifer and determine sustainable operating parameters for the RDN well, so that the wells in the surrounding area are not significantly impacted. Monitoring of volunteered private wells for phase 1 began April 1, 2015 and continues to present. Water levels are tracked with a data logger in each well, to understand impacts of pumping, seasonal changes to do with climate and long-term trends with both. Electrical conductivity is monitored in some of the coastal wells to gauge if there is concern with saltwater intrusion occurring.
In 2016 a water monitoring plan for Area E as a whole was developed; click here to see the report. In the summer of 2017, 5 new volunteer observation wells were added within the area, to fill spatial gaps in groundwater level data. A streamflow monitoring station has also been added on Nanoose Creek as of February 2017.
There are 11 volunteer monitoring wells in Area E that the RDN continues to download data from every 3-4 months.
(UPDATED AUGUST 19, 2019) The following graphs are for the wells monitored in the Parker Road area as a part of this program. Individual well owners know the unique identifier for their well so they may look-up their results. 'B' stands for bedrock and 'O' stands for overburden. The data displayed in the graphs shows groundwater elevation (water level), rainfall (from the Fairwinds Golf Course rain gauge), and electrical conductivity (EC) for coastal wells. Data has been collected since April 2015 and
Water levels in the bedrock wells, particularly in the summer months, are influenced by the cumulative effect of all bedrock wells pumping in the vicinity.
Water levels in the overburden (sand and gravel) wells do not appear to react to pumping in the bedrock aquifer.
A Phase 3 Refined Water Budget Model is currently being developed for Area E - we anticipate the completion of the initial modelling report in early 2020.
Notes from past meetings on the project
Presentations from hydrogeologists or staff
- February 2015 Presentation from GW Solutions
- July 2015 Presentation GW Solutions
- July 2015 Presentation from Provincial Groundwater Protection Officer (MFLNRO)
- September 2015 Presentation from GW Solutions
- March 2018 Presentation from Staff
- August 2019 Presentation from Staff
Please direct any questions to the contact form at the bottom of this page.