Aquifer Mapping

The Aquifer Mapping Program is part of a long-term initiative by the Town to sustain and protect the Gibsons Aquifer, which provides most of the Town’s water supply.

Aquifer Mapping Study Update – 2021

Work is underway to update the data collected in the first mapping study, which occurred from 2009 to 2013 (more information below.) Data to be updated includes predictions of climate change impacts, water use and drilling data.

As at the end of Q3 2021, Waterline Resources had updated the Gibsons Aquifer Map and Numerical Model; added new drilling location info and environmental layers into the model; and was simulating several groundwater use scenarios for various pumping conditions from the existing water source well network under present day and climate-affected conditions (i.e. below average precipitation and sea level rise) in order to determine different water use requirements determined by Town staff.

Discussions with Waterline Resources (the lead consultant) to identify possible synergies with other related projects, including Source to Sea, DPA9 Update and Creek Monitoring are ongoing. The Town has installed creek monitoring stations to assist in determining potential connectivity between the creeks and the aquifer.

A preliminary report (guidance page) summarizing how the aquifer mapping and numerical modelling updates agree and coincide with the 2013 Aquifer Mapping Study, and providing comment on what is still required to maintain a sustainable water supply, is anticipated for early 2022.

Aquifer Mapping Study – 2009 to 2013

In 2009, the Town received a $400,000 grant for this program. From 2009 to 2013 the Town also committed an additional $100,000 bringing the total available funds to $500,000. Waterline Resources Inc. was contracted to conduct the study and the final report was presented to Council on May 16, 2013, by Waterline’s Principal Hydrogeologist, Darren J. David, M.Sc., P.Geo. The meeting was well attended and provided the public an opportunity to ask questions and comment on the findings.

Key outcomes from this study are:

  1. establishment of the limits of the Gibsons Aquifer;
  2. identification of the aquifer recharge area;
  3. determination of the ultimate sustainable supply capacity of the aquifer;
  4. analysis of how climate change, drought and pumping are anticipated to affect the aquifer;
  5. completion of an initial groundwater sampling program;
  6. recommendations showing where the Town needs to take action to ensure adequate funding is in place to manage this natural asset in an appropriate manner; and
  7. a communication strategy.

For those unable to attend the May 2013 meeting, the full presentation has been recorded and can be viewed at Aquifer Mapping Final Presentation. The video is approximately two hours in length and consists of 75 minutes of the presentation followed by 50 minutes of questions from members of Council and the public.

Read the full report and appendices now or visit the Gibsons Library to view the paper copy.

Also involved in the study were Gordon Groundwater Consultancy and Jessica Doyle, UBC MSc student.

The Town of Gibsons wishes to express appreciation to Waterline, Gordon Groundwater Consultancy and Jessica Doyle for working so passionately and tirelessly on this project. Thanks also goes out to the residents of the Sunshine Coast who contributed to this project by permitting access to their wells for data collection.