Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society champions precedent-setting groundwater research in the Englishman River watershed

Look at Groundwater Differently

Released in April 2012, the Primer on Integrated Rainwater and Groundwater Management for Lands on Vancouver Island and Beyond synthesizes the pioneer work of Dr. Gilles Wendling. His applied research was made possible by grant funding secured by the Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES).

The section titled Look at Groundwater Differently, written by Dr. Wendling, explains how the Englishman River demonstration project was only possible because of community involvement. This section introduces the ‘flux’ concept to characterize groundwater movement; and also introduces the use of ‘butterfly views’ to create understanding of how groundwater moves to the river.

Get the Watershed Vision Right

“Collaboration between local governments and the stewardship sector has emerged as success factor in ‘getting the watershed vision right’. The efforts of MVIHES demonstrate what can be accomplished by a “top-down and bottom-up” initiative when grass-roots visionaries align their efforts and/or partner with decision-makers in local government,” observes Kim Stephens, Executive Director with the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

“The champion for undertaking the precedent approach to groundwater research and application in the Englishman River is Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society. Faye Smith is the driving force.”

“Early in my involvement with Streamkeepers it became evident that the problems we were dealing with came about because decision-makers had not prioritized the needs of the environment before altering the land. MVIHES took the initiative to secure funding so that all stakeholders would have a science-based understanding of surface water / groundwater interaction in the Englishman River watershed,” says Faye Smith, MVIHES Project Coordinator.

Links to YouTube Videos

The contributions of Dr. Wendling to science-based understanding extend beyond the technical and into the communication and education realm. His findings are posted online in a set of YouTube videos. To view them, click on the links below:

“I believe that Part 4 is the most important of the four videos,” states Faye Smith. “The video really describes the interaction between groundwater and surface water (i.e., “the puddle story”, as Gilles calls it). It provides a new and innovative way of illustrating recharge zones (the “butterfly images”, to quote Gilles). And it gives a snapshot of how complex, challenging, (and fun), understanding groundwater and groundwater temperature can be!”

To Learn More:

For information about the Groundwater Mapping and Education Project, click here to access the MVIHES website.

Also, click on Groundwater and Surface Water Interaction on Lower Englishman River Watershed Document to explore in detail the findings of Dr. Wendling.