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Geoscience BC’s Peace Project final report says near-surface aquifers not connected enough for industrial uses

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Geoscience BC released the final report on its Peace Project looking at groundwater northwest of Fort St. John today. 

Geoscience BC announced the study in 2015, when the organization conducted an airborne survey of over 8,000 square kilometres of land between Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, and Pink Mountain.  

Produced by experts from Simon Fraser University, the report summarizes 16 pieces of research conducted since 2014 in the region. The report provides significant new knowledge about groundwater in the Peace region. 

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The report found that the surface geology layer in the Peace Region is complex, but that sediments near the surface are not sufficiently interconnected over large areas with quantities of water suitable for industrial uses or as water sources for large communities. The report says however that those networks of aquifers near the surface may be suitable for other uses, such as domestic water wells. The report also found that other water sources deeper in the bedrock may be suitable for such uses, but further research is required. 

“The Geoscience BC Peace Project final report is the culmination of four years of hard work by so many people,” said Geoscience BC Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Carlos Salas. “For the first time we have regional baseline knowledge about groundwater in the Peace region. It will inform decisions and I look forward to it guiding additional research in the future.”

Throughout the length of the project, researchers collaborated with a wide variety of organizations including government departments, community groups, First Nations, the energy sector and academia. This made it possible to adapt the research to suit the needs of different groups. For example, a helicopter survey to measure resistivity of rocks below was extended following feedback from several communities, and the project identified potential locations for drinking water for the Halfway River First Nation.

Geoscience BC says it will discuss the findings with collaborators over the coming months, culminating in a technical webinar in the fall.

The entire final report can be read here: http://cdn.geosciencebc.com/project_data/GBCR2018-13_FINALPeace.pdf

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