Project: Quantifying the Water Budget of Northeastern Boreal Watersheds, British Columbia
Northeastern British Columbia (BC) is undergoing rapid development for oil and gas extraction, largely depending on subsurface hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which relies on available freshwater. Even though this industrial activity has made substantial contributions to regional and provincial economies, it is important to ensure that sufficient and sustainable water supplies are available for all those dependent on the resource, including ecological systems. Further, BC statistics predict that the northeast region’s population will increase by 30% over the next 25 years, thereby increasing the demands of domestic and industry water usage.
Hence, it is essential to generate baseline information by assessing the sustainability of current and future plans for freshwater extraction in northeastern BC. In more detail, this research is intended to provide the historical and regional hydrological processes at two boreal watersheds—the Coles Lake (CL) and Tsea Lake (TL) watersheds—in northeastern BC. Hydrological components within the northeastern watershed are quantified through a combination of fieldwork, observational data, analysis and numerical modelling. In addition, all components of the CL water budget (hydrological year 2013–2014) are measured, for purpose of water licensing and approval by regulators and decision makers of Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc. (Quicksilver).