Groundwater

Groundwater is a key part of water management. Over 90% of rural Albertans depend on groundwater for their water supply. It offers alternatives to scarce surface water resources, but like surface water, groundwater must be managed carefully.

Information on groundwater in Alberta is available, including topics such as aquifers, groundwater occurrence and movement, and factors that affect its quality.

Mapping groundwater resources, monitoring its quality, educating well users about protection of their groundwater, and developing effective regulation, is part of managing groundwater.

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has a number of initiatives supporting its groundwater management program. Scientific groundwater reports are also available to the public and researchers.


Groundwater Observation Well Network (GOWN) water sampling trailers

Groundwater Initiatives

Provincial Groundwater Inventory Program

In 2008, an ambitious program was launched to inventory groundwater resources in Alberta. The Provincial Groundwater Inventory Program is coordinated under a partnership between AEP and the Alberta Geological Survey.

The Edmonton-Calgary Corridor was selected as the initial pilot project due to significant growth and development in this area. A key component of the program included airborne geophysical surveys to help identify and delineate important aquifers.

A compilation of existing provincial groundwater information and other program-related reports is available at:

The Groundwater Observation Well Network (GOWN)

The Groundwater Observation Well Network comprises over 250 monitoring wells spread across the province. Groundwater levels are monitored at about 200 of these wells on a continual basis. About 160 of these wells are sampled on a regular basis for gas and water quality monitoring purposes. Information collected from the network is evaluated and/or reported on the State of the Environment and GOWN web pages.

Alberta Water Well Information Database

Water wells provide the primary water supply for rural Albertans. Over 300,000 water well drilling and chemistry records have been submitted to Alberta Water Well Information Database and entered into a public database. This water well information also provides the foundation for our understanding of groundwater resources in Alberta, having been used in countless scientific studies, inventories and assessments conducted over the past few decades.

Working Well Program

Well owners are responsible for proper care and maintenance of their wells. The Working Well program provides valuable information to Albertans on how to best manage their water well supplies.

 

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Updated: Feb 2, 2016