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 conductivity, temperature, and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) was collected.
Phase 1 of this community-based watershed characterization project was completed between June 2009 and April 2010 and the results were presented in a report by GW Solutions “Lower Englishman River Watershed Groundwater and Surface water Interaction”, dated April 2010.
The completion of Phase 1 proved that a community–based study can be an economical way of collecting valuable information and involving the population residing in the studied watershed. This is an important step in having the local population taking ownership in the management of the watershed and understanding the dynamic of the water movement and the interaction between surface water and groundwater. This is also an important premise for potential future behaviour changes required to better conserve and protect water resources.
The team has been successful in receiving a $70,000 grant from the Royal Bank of Canada Blue Water Project in June 2010 to continue the work started in 2009.
Phase 2 was completed in 2011.
In 2013-14, GW Solutions focused its effort on better understanding the role played by the bedrock aquifers (Mountain Block Recharge) in supplying water to the Englishman River. This was done in collaboration with MVI and the local community. The results were presented in a report (Phase 3 report) issued in October 2014.