Rural Water Resources Planner: British Columbia

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British Columbia

Groundwater Resources

The Ground Water Resources of British Columbia on-line publication provides a comprehensive overview of the groundwater resources of British Columbia. A variety of topics are discussed including: the origin, occurrence, and movement of groundwater, groundwater water quality, geology as it relates to groundwater, groundwater contamination, ground water and human health, thermal springs, groundwater resources of the various regions in British Columbia, management of groundwater resources, and case histories.

The BC Water Resources Atlas displays groundwater and surface water resource information.

Additional information on groundwater resources are provided on the Groundwater and Aquifer webpages.


The Ground Water Protection Regulation (GWPR) deals with aspects of well construction that significantly enhance ground water protection - i.e. installing effective surface seals around wells, securely capping and floodproofing wells, and permanently closing unused wells to protect ground water quality. The GWPR also establishes the qualifications for well drillers and well pump installers and provides for a provincial registry of those possessing the qualifications.

Details on the regulations pertinent to the development of groundwater resources in the province can be found in Part 4, Section 66 and Part 5 of the  Water Act.

Well Data

Access to the provincial wells and aquifer databases is provided on the Ground Water Wells and Aquifer Database page.

BC Environment's Well Identification - Frequently Asked Questions page provides information on the purpose of well identification.

The Observation Well Network page provides information on a 145 (2009) observation well network covering major ground water areas of the province. The primary purpose of the Network is to collect, analyze and interpret ground water hydrographs and ground water quality data from various developed aquifers in B.C.

Aquifer Maps

In 1994 the Province of British Columbia initiated a program to identify, map and categorize groundwater aquifers for planning and management purposes. BC Environments's Aquifers page provide information on this initiative and provides a link to the BC Water Resources Atlas to view the aquifer delineations and classification details.

Groundwater Reports

A number of reports can be accessed through the advanced search option under the Water Information listing on BC Environment's EcoCat: The Ecological Reports Catalogue page. Additional reports can be accessed from The Groundwater Reference Library page.

Groundwater Quality

BC Environment provides information on groundwater quality on its Frequently Asked Questions: Water Wells and Well Water Quality page.

A number of water quality factsheets are available from the BC Health Files web site on various topics related to groundwater:

Factsheets providing general information on total and faecal coliform bacteria, nitrate, arsenic, fluoride, sodium, iron and manganese, and hardness can be found at BC Environment's Ground Water Quality Fact Sheets page.

Aquifer Vulnerability and Groundwater Protection

The paper Evaluating AVI and DRASTIC for Assessing Ground Water Pollution Potential in the Fraser Valley summarizes the results of calculating aquifer vulnerability indexes for 169 wells in the Fraser Valley to assess the vulnerability of aquifers to pollution.

Well Construction and Maintenance Resource Material

Guidance on groundwater wells can be found in BC Environment's on-line documents: Factsheets are available from the BC Ministry of Health that discuss drinking water testing, Should I Get My Well Water Tested, and disinfection, How to Disinfect Drinking Water.

The BC Groundwater Association's Groundwater Protection Handbook provides well construction and maintenance information to protect groundwater and aquifers.

Groundwater Related Associations in BC

BC Environment web pages and documents:
The British Columbia Ground Water Association website provides information for the well construction industry and private well owners.