Groundwater Wells Inventory and Monitoring

Salt Spring Island Groundwater Wells Inventory Project

The Ministry of Environment receives and processes groundwater data and information related to the construction, alteration, and decommissioning of groundwater wells and stores that information in the GWELLS database. Prior to the release of the BC Water Sustainability Act on February 29, 2016, domestic groundwater well registration was voluntary and hundreds of drilled wells on Salt Spring are not registered. Islands Trust is coordinating with Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources, and Rural Development to improve the GWELLS registry.

As part of Salt Spring Island Groundwater Wells Inventory Project, Islands Trust collated over 150 professional groundwater reports from subdivision applications from the past 30 years discovering nearly 400 unregistered groundwater well records. These well records will be included in the GWELLS system to improve the overall functionality of the registry and to inform groundwater resource management and watershed protection.

 

Salt Spring Island Groundwater Wells Monitoring Pilot Project

Groundwater supplies approximately half of the water needs for Salt Spring Island community and is an ecological component of our watersheds.  Long-term monitoring of groundwater levels is integral for watershed protection and management of groundwater resources.

In addition to the three Provincial Groundwater Observation Network locations, the Salt Spring Island Groundwater Wells Monitoring Pilot Project aims to establish twelve long-term automated groundwater monitoring locations across the island in volunteered domestic groundwater wells to measure hourly water table fluctuations and groundwater temperature changes. This year long pilot project is funded by a Real Estate Foundation of BC Freshwater Sustainability grant and SSIWPA agency contributions. ​