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Report: Monthly Water Budgets for Aquifers in the Oliver, B.C. Area - Aquifers 254, 255 and 256

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Preliminary monthly groundwater budgets were developed for seven aquifers in the Oliver Area of British Columbia in order to support groundwater allocation and licensing under the Water Sustainability Act.

Author:  Geller, Douglas J.; Manwell, B.R.

Date Published:  Aug 2016

Report ID:  50858

Audience:  Government and Public

Aquifers 255, 254 and 256 form a linked chain of valley bottom aquifers located in the South Okanagan between Vaseux Lake to the north and Osoyoos Lake to the south. The Oliver area is an important agricultural and tourism region and is home to approximately 6,000 people, most of whom rely on groundwater for drinking water. The project objectives were to develop a conceptual groundwater model describing the regional movement of groundwater, a quantitative assessment of aquifer recharge and discharge, groundwater use and estimates of groundwater potentially available for licensing and identification of data gaps and monitoring activities for improving estimates of groundwater fluxes and availability. The three aquifers can be thought of as an aquifer system comprised of mostly unconfined to semi-confined aquifers in a river valley (e.g. Type 1a or 1b as described in Wei et al 2009). Flow through the system is driven by the approximate 50 m difference in elevation between Vaseux Lake and Osoyoos Lake. Groundwater wells have been developed and are in use in all three aquifers, with Aquifer 255 the most heavily used and Aquifer 256 the least used. The Town of Oliver supplies water to all of the municipal area and significant rural areas north and south of the Town centre. A spreadsheet-based water budget analysis was prepared that quantities monthly inputs and outputs to the three aquifers. The spreadsheet tool can be used to assess the relative impact of additional groundwater extractions or the effects of changes to other input and output terms.

Report Type
  Region - Okanagan
  Water Information - Groundwater

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