Mapping of British Columbia's Aquifers

Year
2010
Category
Waters
NCLGA Ref#
B6
UBCM Ref#
B81

Status

Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships

Details

WHEREAS the Province of British Columbia began mapping aquifers in 1994, but has not mapped any since March 2007 and vast areas of the province remain unmapped;

AND WHEREAS the UN World Water Report 3 (2009), on page 226, identified that water resource management should be based on a quantitative understanding of the state of the resource;

AND WHEREAS aquifers are presently under increased pressure due to the demands of multiple users, especially the oil and gas industry:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Province to continue to map and classify aquifers throughout the province to provide baseline information and to ensure that future decisions regarding groundwater management are made with quantitative data.

Additional Information

UBCM comments:

The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution calling on the Province to continue to map and classify aquifers throughout BC.

However, members endorsed resolution 2008-B78, which requested in part that the provincial government “develop regulations and programs that would identify, gauge, document and monitor a groundwater resource data base in populated areas of the province”.

In response, the Province indicated that it was finalizing Phase 2 of the Ground Water Protection Regulation, which would include improvements to the provincial government’s WELLs ground water database. The Province explained that the original WELLs database relied on voluntary submission of private well records by drillers, whereas Phase 2 would make submission mandatory. The Province suggested that this could improve “the quality and consistency of information relating to reliance on ground water and aquifer location and yield”, and that the information would, in turn, improve the Province’s aquifer mapping capabilities.

UBCM members have consistently endorsed resolutions calling on the Province to legislate and regulate groundwater protection (2004-B76; 2003-B22; 2001-B28; 2000-B22; 1998-B72; 1991-B15; 1989-B25).