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High-Level Review of Site C Environmental Assessment Documents

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) recently teamed with GW Solutions to conduct a high-level review of Site C Environmental Assessment documents. The purpose of this review was to identify issues of concern for Treaty 8 member nations to raise with the BC Provincial Water Comptroller. Focusing on issues that may intersect with treaty rights, the NHC/GWS team provided a comprehensive review of a large volume of EA documents in a very short period of time.

BCGWA Groundwater Protection Regulation Handbook

GW Solutions was responsible for the design and production of the Groundwater Protection Regulation Handbook. This handbook was designed to be a practical tool for contractors and professionals which would: • illustrate the various requirements of the Ground Water Protection Regulation (the “Regulation”) established under the Water Act; • have a system of tabs to provide quick access to specific information related to the various types of wells; • be portable, and easy to use on the job site, where needed, when needed. Groundwater Protection Handbook - Version 1 September 2017

Nanaimo Airport Water Strategy

The Nanaimo Airport Commission is aware of the value of the groundwater aquifer that lies beneath the airport, and recognizes its duty to protect this resource. GW Solutions has been retained to develop and implement a long-term water strategy. The adopted strategy is based on three simple questions: What do we have? (Asset) What do we have to manage? (Management) What do we have to protect? (Protection)

Yukon Energy - Southern Lakes

Southern Lakes Raise in Elevation Yukon Energy is proposing to modify the controlled high and low water level of the Yukon Southern Lakes to increase the hydroelectric energy potential of its hydro power facility. GW Solutions was retained by Yukon Energy and the Southern Lakes Water Level Committee to review historical information, hydrogeological studies completed by others, to visit the area, meet local residents and express a professional opinion about the potential impacts the modification of the lake regime would have on local groundwater and aquifers. The results were presented during a public presentation in Tagish, Yukon.

Regional District of Nanaimo - Action for Groundwater

GW Solutions was part of the team that led a roundtable discussion, initiated by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), in identifying and prioritizing actions that should be taken to protect regional water resources and to improve understanding of the watersheds. This was done with the help and guidance of a committee representing a variety of region-wide interests including Electoral Area residents, the BC Ministry of Environment, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Islands Trust, local well drillers, forestry interests and conservation groups. The Action for Water program is focusing on 5 major actions: Improving awareness of our valuable water resources Understanding risks that t

Mount Polley - Review of Application to Safely Discharge Effluent from the Tailing Storage Facility

The Mount Polley Mine is located within the northern part of the Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) traditional territory and is within the traditional territories of T’exelc Williams Lake Indian Band and the Xat’sull Soda Creek First Nations. Following the August 4th, 2014 breach of the tailing dam which released contaminated effluent into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake, and as part of the Province’s requirement to consult, the BC Ministry of Environment, the Williams Lake Indian Band, and the Soda Creek First Nations agreed to an integrated review of the application to safely discharge effluent from the tailing storage facility. Brian Olding & Associates Ltd. (BOA) was contracted to lead this w

Yukon First Nations - Presentations

GW Solutions has designed and delivered several presentations to the Vuntut Gwinchin First Nation (Old Crow), the Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation (Mayo), the Liard First Nation (Watson Lake), and the Kwanlin Dun First Nation (Whitehorse). The presentations included information about the hydrological and hydrogeological setting in the various regions, the level of knowledge about groundwater, aquifers and watersheds. The principles of extraction of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) were also presented. Finally, potential issues and effects on watersheds due to fracking operations and loss of well integrity were introduced. A similar presentation was given to the Select Committee on

Halalt First Nation - Review and Critique of a Large Hydrogeological Study

GW Solutions has completed a review and critique of a large hydrogeological study on behalf of the Halalt First Nation for a proposed series of production wells (water supply for the District of North Cowichan) as part of a provincial and federal environmental assessment process, Chemainus River Aquifer, Halalt First Nation, BC. The proposed project was also reviewed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act as a comprehensive study. In July 2011, the Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) and associated groundwater extraction were stayed under a B.C. Supreme Court ruling. The B.C. Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the lower court’s decision in November 2012. Halalt filed a r

ACFN Teck Frontier Project Review

ACFN territory extends from central Alberta to Slave Lake, where some of the largest industrial projects in the world (mining of tar sands and bitumen extraction) are modifying the landscape and the water regime. GW Solutions is working with ACFN in reviewing the proposed Teck Frontier Project (footprint of 29,000 ha), and how the mining and tailing disposal activities may modify the groundwater regime, both in quantity and quality. In particular, we will assess pre, during, and post-mining fluctuations of the water tables. We will also estimate how the flux of groundwater discharging to the Athabasca River will change, and how streams, lakes, and wetlands will lose some of their water res

Clearbrook Waterworks District

GW Solutions advised the board of directors of the Clearbrook Waterworks District (CWD) about the operation of their water supply system. The CWD delivers an average 5000 m3/day of non-treated drinking water originating from a shallow confined aquifer. GW Solutions provided reports and tools describing and explaining the source of the water, the operation of the wells, the daily cost of extraction of the groundwater, the quality of the water, and the risks of deterioration of the water quality, etc. in the service of Clearbrook Waterworks District groundwater management. The directors of the CWD now have the tools to better understand and monitor their water system, and are in a better posit

Parksville Primer

GW Solutions has participated in the creation of a “Primer” document that supports implementation of Living Water Smart principles in the local government setting. It is written for expert and non-expert audiences. It identifies three elements of the Water Balance, namely: rainfall, groundwater and streamflow. The Water Balance is short-circuited when the land surface is hardened and below-ground flow paths to streams are eliminated, such that: Too Much Water: During wet weather periods, increased runoff volumes over longer durations cause stream erosion and instability. Too Little Water: During dry weather periods, groundwater-fed baseflows are diminished. Do Business Differently: Both cond

Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society

GW Solutions has worked with the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES) to collect information on the presence and behaviour of aquifers in the Englishman River (ER) watershed, to define aquifers, to assess the elevation of the water table in the aquifers, to estimate the groundwater regime (groundwater flow path), and to define the interconnection of the aquifers and the ER. The work during Phase 1 was community-based and 36 private wells were used to collect information on the depth to the water table and its seasonal fluctuation. The community was also involved in the gathering of information at 20 stations on the ER during several events where data on pH, electrical c

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