Groundwater has only recently been recognized as a vital natural resource. Ground water is an important source of drinking water for many in the Rideau watershed. Contamination of local groundwater is a growing concern and groundwater flow in bedrock aquifers has only recently started to be characterized (theory, methods, tools and models specific to fractured rock aquifers). Groundwater as a “science” is still young.
Since 2005, RVCA has been coordinating the Source Protection Program for the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Region (MRSPR). This work has involved undertaking a number of technical studies and the development of source protection plan policies for the MRSPR to protect shared municipal drinking water sources within our watersheds. Additional information about the local source protection program is available here: mrsourcewater.ca
Currently, the groundwater program at RVCA is small and primarily focuses on being a source of expertise for municipal planning services related to rural drinking water. The program also provides support to development applications near wetlands and groundwater recharge and discharge areas.
RVCA looks to learn more about our groundwater resources and their specific roles in the local hydrological cycle. We monitor and gather information at 16 wells at 13 locations in the Rideau Valley as part of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s (MOECC) Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN). The main goal of the PGMN program is to undertake long-term regional groundwater monitoring in order to be able to identify potential changes in groundwater quality or levels. RVCA also partners with provincial agencies, local municipalities and academia for special projects related to groundwater information management, subwatershed studies and groundwater surface water interactions.