UNDERGROUND: A third of Canadians depend on water that seeps from the surface to subterranean storage


Alfonso Rivera_Geological Survey of Canada

Mapping Trans-Border Groundwater Key to Understanding Our Resources

“Canada has been described as the ‘Saudi Arabia of the freshwater world’, but (Alfonso) Rivera likes to point out that Canadians are increasingly dependent on the groundwater that is poorly understood and often under appreciated,” wrote Margaret Munro in a feature article published by the Vancouver Sun newspaper. Alfonso Rivera is Canada’s chief hydrogeologist.

Dr. Rivera studies the nature, the dynamics and the extent of aquifer systems in Canada to inventory its groundwater resources. Dr. Rivera and his team are mapping Canada’s most significant aquifers to determine their size, location, natural groundwater quality and sustainability. Mapping is being done through remote sensing technologies such as gravity measurements to interpret changes in groundwater, geological characterization and geophysical methods to define an aquifer’s geometry (i.e. porous or fractured aquifer) and hydro-geochemistry to characterize the quality of groundwater.

Canada’s Groundwater Resources

“He is determined to help fill the knowledge gap with his mapping projects and a new book, Canada’s Groundwater Resources, which is aimed at not just researchers but the public,” reported Margaret Munro.

In the introduction to Canada’s Groundwater Resources, Alfonso Rivera states that: “Nationally we have no idea what our groundwater resources are.” 

“But we don’t how much we can use, if it is sustainable, how it interacts with ecosystems,” Munro quotes Rivera, who works for the federal Geological Survey of Canada.

To Learn More:

To read the complete article, click on Mapping waterworks beneath Canada-U.S. border may help avoid water woes.

Canada's Groundwater Resources