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Fort Nelson First Nation - Technical Assistance with Water Management

GW Solutions worked with the Fort Nelson First Nation to provide technical assistance with water management within their territory; occupying 144,000 km2, the size of Greece, at the northeast corner of BC.

GW Solutions started with providing a background of what was known, and unknown about groundwater and aquifers. The baseline report also made recommendations on what should be known and the key missing pieces in the water story to better understand, manage, and to protect the numerous watersheds within Fort Nelson First Nation. We are now gradually moving forward on that path.

Three large basins targeted for shale gas, the Horn River Basin, the Liard Basin and the Cordova Basin are all located within Fort Nelson First Nation Territory.

GW Solutions was invited to present at the Keepers of the Water VI conference in Fort Nelson in September 2012. The presentation focused on groundwater and aquifers, as it relates to unconventional gas, and in particular the potential risks on groundwater resources due to the effects of drilling and fracking. Several scenarios were described showing the potential long-term effects of fluid migrations and change of pressures and elevations of the water tables, plus how this could modify the groundwater and surface water interaction. The reduction of river base flows, mostly during the most sensitive time of the year (end of summer, mid-winter) should not be excluded as a potential long-term consequence of leaky old wells.

During a town-hall meeting in January 2013, GW Solutions provided technical information on the role played by dugouts.

Dr. Wendling was also invited to talk about the groundwater management in the Fort Nelson First Nation at an event organized by the Munk School of Global Affairs – Program on Water Issues (POWI), at the University of Toronto in June 2013. The event was titled “Underground Intelligence: The need to map, monitor, and manage Canada’s groundwater resources in an era of drought and climate change.”

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