Why a GPP?
Groundwater is a valuable natural resource and an important source of drinking water for the District of Invermere. To ensure this resource is protected into the future, the District has prepared a comprehensive Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP) to help the community fully understand and protect the local groundwater source that supplies District residents with safe drinking water.
Over time, the District will need additional water sources to meet demand. The purpose of this plan is to better understand the local aquifer in terms of its location and the amount of water it contains. The GPP will map the deep aquifer, as well as identify any potential sources of contamination. Once we understand the resource better, we can develop proactive management strategies to prevent undesirable impacts from affecting the groundwater. With these practical guidelines in place, we can be confident that the groundwater resources are being protected to the best of our abilities. The result will be a pristine water source for years to come.
There are a few main purposes for this project:
1. To understand whether there is potential for the Athalmer Aquifer to provide additional water to meet the future water needs of the District, and if so, to recommend an approach to expand the use of this deep aquifer for municipal water supply.
2. To work with the community to understand land uses and activities that may pose a risk to the aquifer.
To develop a groundwater protection plan highlighting management strategies that will reduce the risk of aquifer contamination.
There are three groups acting as driving forces for this project: the District of Invermere, the Interior Health Authority, and the Community Planning Team.
The District of Invermere is leading the project and is ultimately responsible for the Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP).
The Interior Health Authority is responsible for issuing permits for the existing wells and ensuring provincial regulations are followed with respect to potential health issues. IHA provided a Permit to Operate for one municipal well in the Athalmer Aquifer in 2006 and this permit requires that a GPP be prepared.
The Community Planning Team is the stakeholder advisory committee that is involved in all aspects of developing the GPP. The Community Planning Team is comprised of members of the District of Invermere and the Interior Health Authority, as well as other potential stakeholders who will be invited to participate, including a member of the public, and members of other groups such as the development community, Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Shuswap First Nations. The Community Planning Team also includes the Consultant Team of Golder and Associates and Urban Systems.
Community Planning Team Members
Chris Prosser, District of Invermere
Rory Hromadnik, District of Invermere
Dan Byron, Interior Health Authority
Dan Brown, Golder Associates
Lynda Cooke, Urban Systems
Heather Leschied, Lake Windermere Ambassadors
L.F. (Buzz) Harmsworth, Public Member
Doug McIntosh, Development Community Member
Brian Funke, RDEK
Gary Burford, RDEK