Local groundwater management for British Columbia: linking data to protection practices

Julia Frances Berardinucci
Groundwater management decisions are continuously made under conditions of incomplete data and information. The hidden nature of groundwater resources makes detection of contamination and depletion of supply difficult to anticipate. However, neglecting to monitor groundwater resources can lead to consequences which are difficult or impossible to rectify. Changing trends in the governance of water resources in Canada indicate that greater responsibility for groundwater management is being
more » ... ent is being shifted to local levels of government. This however requires information and expertise traditionally maintained at senior levels of government. The purpose of this thesis is to develop an analytical framework for use by local governments in B.C. planning for sustained, multipurpose groundwater use and quality protection. Analysis for this framework focusses on threeareas of concern for local governments facing increasing responsibility for groundwater management: data requirements, land use management and groundwater protection practices. Of the various approaches surveyed, georeferenced analysis is suggested to be one of the more flexible and useful analytical tools for use in groundwater management. The framework suggested consists of four components: 1) a list of parameters required for land use management for the purpose of groundwater protection, 2) an analysis of groundwater protection measures and required data, 3) a prioritized list of data collection activities based on the ease of collection of information, the time required to collect a critical mass of data and the relative importance to present groundwater concerns in B.C. and 4) a procedure for integrating land use classification with groundwater data collection and protection measures. Hatzic Valley, situated in the Lower Fraser Basin is used to illustrate the suggested framework and to investigate the extent of existing data for an area which has not previously been intensely studied. Available data for the area, while limited, is found to be s [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0099143 fatcat:rwjnayqjxnffrerlofbalw5qcu