Canadian provinces are becoming aware of the need to manage groundwater. Since 2008 the provincial government in Quebec and the Quebec Groundwater Network have worked together to understand the resource and have a science based approach to it. A program was launched to answer critical questions with respect to the resources sustainability.
- Where does the water come from and where does it go?
- Is it safe and what is it’s quality?
- What is the nature of the aquifer that contains it?
- How much groundwater is there?
- Is it vulnerable to human activity?
Anatomy of an Aquifer:
By 2015 most of the aquifers in southern Quebec have been characterized. Two factors helped ensure that the information generated would bw useful to water managers. First, efforts were coordinated and similar protocols established. Secondly, groups carrying out the work were required to get funding from water stakeholders….so now the water managers had an interest in the work.
Many meetings were held throughout the process and a groundwater knowledge exchange strategy was developed. A survey of 50 water managers revealed that the lack of hydrogeological knowledge was the primary obstacle to the implementation of groundwater protection and management. To address this challenge the researchers knowledge exchange strategy was implemented by the QGN. The promotion of progressive learning of aquifer understanding and ground water management issues relevant to each area is the key.
Moving forward the challenge will be to maintain the network of scientists, local managers, and governments that produces and uses the scientific knowledge in order to ensure the sustainable management of groundwater for generations to come.
Groundwater : The Hidden Source of Life