Ministry of Environment
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Report: Compendium of Provincial Groundwater Science and Monitoring Projects: 2019-20

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This compendium is published under the Water Science Series to bring together a compilation of short summaries of the groundwater science and monitoring projects supported by the province during the 2019-20 fiscal year. The intent is to communicate to a wide audience the nature of the projects undertaken and to provide a quick overview of the project results.

Date Published:  Sep 2020

Report ID:  58974

Audience:  Government and Public

The Provincial Groundwater Program originated in 1961 when the Water Act was revised to enable the licensing of groundwater. The primary goal of the groundwater program has been to increase the understanding of the groundwater resources in British Columbia, and to ensure the sustainable management and protection of the resource. As the Province moves forward with the implementation of groundwater licensing under the new Water Sustainability Act which was brought into force in 2016, there is an even greater need to improve the level of scientific knowledge of aquifers, groundwater availability and the interactions between surface water and groundwater. This knowledge is critical to support the sustainable management of groundwater and to support science-based decision making. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) share joint responsibility for the Groundwater Program. Currently, groundwater science and monitoring projects are funded out of three main funding envelopes: (1) The Strategic Water and Air Monitoring Planning Process administered by the Knowledge Management Branch within ENV; (2) The Groundwater Science Program administered by the Water Protection & Sustainability Branch within ENV; and (3) The Water Research Portfolio administered by FLNRORD. In some cases, the province also partners with other agencies such as Geoscience BC, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the Geological Survey of Canada, universities, and local governments to fund groundwater related studies. The projects outlined in this compendium meet some of the objectives of FLNRORD's Ministry Strategic Roadmap. Specifically, the installation of new groundwater observation wells and the remapping of aquifers, provides provincial groundwater staff with the ability to sustainably manage groundwater resources in British Columbia. These projects also support ENV's Service Plan and the critical work needed to interpret the state of the Province's environmental health so that all British Columbians will continue to benefit from the wise and prudent management of natural resources.

Report Type
  Region - Province Wide
  Water Information - Groundwater

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