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  1. Canwell 2004 Overview of groundwater information found on the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection web site By Kevin Ronneseth Water, Air, Climate Change Branch Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection Kelowna, April 24, 2004

  2. Outline • BC’s groundwater web site • Water well data (and data entry) • Groundwater reference library • Observation Well and Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring networks • Fact Sheets • Aquifers and the Internet Mapping Application

  3. BC’s Groundwater Web Site Over View • Provincial database initiated in the 1960’s • Province started using the Web to display groundwater information in the mid 1990’s • The key web address to note is: • Today, Web strategy and e-government are key service plan objectives of the Province’s mandate

  4. Water Well Data • Water well data input • Free software (well drilling data capture system) to enter groundwater data into a database • Water well data output • Using word search criteria to access water well data • Using maps to access water well data

  5. Water Well Data Input • The Well Drilling Data Capture System • designed to provide drillers with a database that is compatible with the Province’s database, • developed with the cooperation and assistance of the British Columbia Groundwater Association, • drillers are able to organize and maintain their own water well data, print out water well records for customers and export data selected by the driller to the WELL database.

  6. The Well Drilling Data Capture System

  7. Number of Wells on File • To date, over 80,000 wells entered in the Wells Data base • ≈ 65,000 with a geographic location • ≈ 1800 new wells drilled each year

  8. How to Access the Water Well Data Different types of word search criteria are used to access water well data • Well Tag Number, • BCGS Number, • Geo Reference (e.g. Street, Legal), • BCGS Geographic Grid,

  9. The BCGS Map Grid is used to Identify the Area of Interest in the Province

  10. Then further refine the search by identifying the 1:20,000 map sheet (e.g. 82E.083)

  11. Other Types of Geo-referencing Include: Street Names and Legal Descriptions

  12. Water Well Data Output Water well data can be printed out in the following formats: • Summaries of well logs • Detailed well logs • Lithology of well logs • Specialty outputs

  13. Well Log Summary

  14. Well Log Lithology

  15. Detailed Well Log

  16. Water Well Data Output by BCGS NumberSpecialized output for Aquifer Classification Studies

  17. Specialized Lithology Output for Aquifer Vulnerability Studies

  18. Water Well Data OutputMapped Based • Aquifer and water wells web site:

  19. Aquifers and Water Wells

  20. Detailed Well Log

  21. Groundwater Reference Library

  22. Groundwater Reference Library

  23. Example References • Code of Practice for Construction, Testing, Maintenance and Closure of Wells, BC • Evaluating Long-Term Well Capacity for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity • Glossary of Hydrogeologic Terms • Guide to using the Aquifer Classification Maps for the Protection and Management of Groundwater in BC • Framework for a Hydrogeologic Study in support of an Application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate under the Environmental Assessment Act and Regulations • Unit Conversion Table

  24. Groundwater Reference Library • Groundwater Report NTS Filing System • for listing of Groundwater Reports on File with the Water, Air and Climate Change Branch in Victoria. • NTS.082, NTS.092, NTS.093, NTS.094NTS.102, NTS.103, NTS.104NTS Consultants Reports

  25. Observation Well and Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring Networks

  26. Observation Well and Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring Networks • Groundwater levels monitored by the Observation Well Network (established in 1961). • Many Observation Wells also periodically (every few years) sampled for baseline water chemistry. • Ambient groundwater quality monitored in developed, highly vulnerable aquifers by the Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (initiated in 1986). • Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (Water, Air, Climate Change Branch responsible for groundwater monitoring in BC).

  27. Observation Well Network • Since 1960, 350 observation wells have been established. Today, there are 163 active observation wells in the Network; some Observation Wells have close to 50 years of record. • Observation Wells classified into three categories: • Monitoring groundwater levels in developed aquifers, • Specific engineering and research projects, and • Monitoring for forecasting and baseline data.

  28. Observation Well Network: Distribution • Most Observation Wells located in the southern half of BC, in major groundwater regions. • 3/4 monitor sand and gravel aquifers; 1/4 monitor bedrock aquifers. • Typically establish 1- 3 new Observation Wells per year. • Policy to establish an Observation Well in all “IA” aquifers.

  29. Observation Well Network:Data collection • 2/3 of the Observation Wells are equipped with recorders; 1/3 of are manually read on a monthly basis. • Currently converting Stevens F68 recorders to Thalimedes data loggers; storage of data in the Ministry’s WIDM database. • Historic chart data in hard copy format. • Historic charts for 26 Observation Wells have been digitized by Environment Canada in 2002. • All month-end reading (recorders and manual) are entered into Excel. • Data from Observation Wells reported in numerous ways

  30. Data from Obs Wells are used to Characterize Groundwater Conditions in British Columbia

  31. Observation Well Data are Reported in the Provincial Snow Survey Bulletin • 10 Key Observation Wells reported regularly in the Snow Survey Bulletin for flood and drought forecasting. • Web site:

  32. Reporting of Observation Well data: Snow Survey Bulletin (continued) Observation Well No. 2 Abbotsford-Sumas Aquifer

  33. Observation Well Data are Reporting in the Province’s State Of Environment Reports Status and Trends in Groundwater Supply: (

  34. Access to Month-end Data • View hydrographs on the web. • Download month-end groundwater level data from web. • Web site:

  35. Monitoring groundwater levels has identified extent of temporal and spatial declining regional groundwater levels in the Lower Fraser Valley

  36. Monitoring groundwater levels has allowed a better understanding of pumping behaviour in sand and gravel as well as fractured bedrock aquifers, to allow development of provincial well testing guidelines

  37. Ambient Groundwater Quality Monitoring in British Columbia: Objectives • Examine groundwater quality concerns in the province and monitor trends with time. • Groundwater Quality Concerns in BC : • Nitrates and phosphates • Synthetic organic compounds including pesticides • Coliform bacteria • Heavy metals • Hydrocarbons including gasoline • Landfill leachate • Saltwater including seawater intrusion

  38. Regional Water Quality Issues and Areas • VANCOUVER ISLAND - saltwater, fluoride, hydrogen sulphide, bacteria • LOWER MAINLAND - nitrates, saltwater, fluoride • KOOTENAY- heavy metals, sulphate • NORTHERN BC - arsenic, radioactivity • SOUTERN INTERIOR - nitrates, fluoride, arsenic, sulphate, uranium, mercury