2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


KELLY, Ross I. and BAJC, A.F., Sedimentary Geoscience Section, Ontario Geol Survey, 933 Ramsey Lake Road, 7th floor, Sudbury, ON P3E 6B5, ross.kelly@ndm.gov.on.ca

In 2001, the province of Ontario initiated an aggressive program to better understand and manage its’ groundwater resources. The main objectives of this program are to: improve knowledge of Ontario’s groundwater resources; ensure the protection and preservation of groundwater quality and quantity; better manage water supply and demand and; support development of corporate databases for decision making. Meeting these objectives will assist in protecting public health and safety, contribute to the safeguarding of the environment and lead to sustainable economic development.

A major need of the groundwater program is the supply of high-quality geoscience information. Such information complements and has application to several current and developing provincial water strategies including, source water protection, groundwater monitoring, groundwater takings and management of land applied nutrients.

The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) is playing a critical role in the province’s water strategy by collecting, interpreting and providing valuable geoscientific information. The main components of the OGS’ work are; consolidation and standardization of a series of 126, 1:50 000 scale Quaternary geology maps covering southern Ontario into a GIS map / database, partnering with conservation authorities to generate watershed based inventories, completion of 3-dimensional (aquifer) mapping pilot projects in selected areas of the province, characterization of bedrock fractures in areas of thin drift cover to assess groundwater vulnerability to land applied nutrients, delineation and assessment of buried bedrock valleys as possible hosts for aquifers and, data management and product development.

While geoscience information on its own is critical to understanding and protecting ground water resources, the OGS recognizes that the products it generates must be useable and understandable by multiple client groups, many of which do not have a geoscience background. This has, in turn, necessitated the development of tailored and user friendly products by geoscientists.

The economic and social benefits of having geoscience information available for groundwater studies are well documented and serve to justify government’s investment in this type of geoscience program.