New Project Will Help Protect Groundwater in B.C.'s Peace Region
March 3, 2015 - With its project partners, Geoscience BC is pleased to announce its new Peace Project. The Peace Project represents a collaborative effort that will generate new information about groundwater in northeast BC's Peace Region. Peace Project partners include the BC Oil and Gas Commission, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers through the Science and Community Environmental Knowledge fund, ConocoPhillips Canada, Progress Energy Canada Ltd., the Province of British Columbia, and the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT).
In response to the Province's March 2014 announcement of the new Water Sustainability Act to regulate groundwater usage, the Peace Project will produce sound technical knowledge of the region's shallow aquifers to facilitate effective groundwater protection. To achieve this, Phase I includes a new airborne geophysical survey that will be flown this year. The survey will cover 8,000 square kilometres within the Peace Region of northeast B.C., stretching northwest from Hudson's Hope and Fort St. John to past Pink Mountain. This survey will collect data to a depth of 300 metres below the earth's surface, which can then be used to produce maps of shallow aquifer distribution, quantity and quality.
Information from the Peace Project will also serve as a key component of the Northeast Water Strategy, by providing the knowledge to enable the Strategy's Enhanced Water Monitoring System. The Northeast Water Strategy is currently under development by the Provincial government in partnership with Treaty 8 First Nations, local governments, regulatory bodies, and the resource sector.
The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) supported a funding application that Geoscience BC submitted to NDIT for the Peace Project last fall. "The members of the PRRD saw the benefit of working with Geoscience BC to better understand the source and characteristics of water in our region," said Lori Ackerman, Mayor of Fort St. John and Chair of the Peace River Regional District. "Our region is home to many competitors for water therefore the value of water is clearly understood. We are very pleased to support this initiative."
"The collective effort in support of the Peace Project is a testament to the importance and growing recognition of groundwater protection to everyone," said Robin Archdekin, Geoscience BC's President & CEO. "This work will provide the necessary framework for effective groundwater stewardship by all stakeholders and enable informed and responsible resource development."
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