Common Sense Canadian

SFU, regional district expand Peace Valley water study re: oil and gas

PostedAugust 21, 2014 by in Western Canada

SFU, regional district expand Peace Valley water study re oil and gas

Read this Aug. 20 story by Elaine Anselmi in the Alaska Highway News on SFU’s baseline studies

Rural residents in the Peace River area are being asked to put their water to the test and allow researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) to dip into their wells and springs.

“It gives you that baseline that’s really necessary, especially when you have industry wanting to work on your land, or maybe even just seismic [vibrations] can sometimes disturb the water – sometimes for a short time, sometimes for an extended period,” said Peace River Regional District (PRRD) chair Karen Goodings. “It’s really important to have a baseline to ensure the quality, as well as the quantity.”

According to a 2013 BC Oil and Gas Commission report, approximately 11 per cent of the water used for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, came from privately acquired or produced water.

The PRRD is on board with the pilot project, which has been facilitated by the provincial government and SFU, and is asking residents to volunteer their water sources for testing, as Goodings said it is an important issue for the region.

“Water comes up at every meeting we hold. If I go out into…my area and I talk to people, one of their first concerns is water,” said Goodings.

She said that one of the key reasons for supporting this project is to see information on groundwater made public, and shared between the various stakeholders shepherding that ever more precious resource.

“We see silos developing where information is being gathered, but not necessarily in a manner that you can share it. We think, the more often we can come together and share that information, the better off we’re going to be,” said

“We set up our Water Stewardship Committee and hope to work with the province and the Oil and Gas Commission and everybody else to try and bring it together.”

The three-year-old study through SFU has already begun developing a picture of how water moves through the Peace River basin through well, spring and drilling observation well testing, as well as non-invasive geophysical surveys.




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