earth-water Concepts inc - planning

By: Waterwatch  09-12-2011
Keywords: data management, Water Supply, groundwater



What would we do without good surface water and groundwater? Our use of it in industry, commerce and in our homes is significant, and as communities continue to grow, there is increasing difficulty to meet new demand. There's a need for careful management of this resource and where quality can't be taken for granted, intelligent planning is the only way for water providers to ensure an adequate water supply.

Source-of-supply investigations
Credible solutions aimed at sustaining potable water resources in urban, rural and industrial settings start with directly relevant science. earth-water Concepts inc. works with industry and communities to develop regional and local water supply plans with solutions to meet the needs for both, short and long-term future growth.

A source of supply analysis involves working closely with municipal and other project planners, preferably at the early stages of the client-project design, and looks at all possible water sources within geographic areas of interest and rates them based on:

Typical investigations systematically evaluate both groundwater and surface water supply options across one or several watersheds. The scientists at earth-water Concepts inc. apply modelling solutions combined with field data and GIS data management methods to develop a set of resource strategies to meet client requirements and water demand.

Cooperative management
Water resource planning can be a complex activity because it often includes competing interests, particularly when surface or groundwater resources are limited or where they cross political boundaries. Cooperative management tries to achieve effective and equitable systems of water resource management, where the aims and benefits are to:

  • involve users so they can work toward finding common ground and learn to manage the water supply for the benefit of all,
  • improve education and local knowledge, and use that knowledge in both short and long-term decision making, and
  • improve enforcement and reduce enforcement costs by empowering local communities.

We have worked with individuals, community representatives, planners, others in the scientific community, and different levels of government to initiate cooperative management of water resources with regard to water source exploration, source development, protection and withdrawal permitting.


Wellhead protection
The quality of groundwater can be threatened by any number of local or regional land uses and activities in the source areas of well fields. Pollution prevention and groundwater protection are much less expensive than the cost of the remedial actions needed to clean up a contaminated groundwater supply.

earth-water Concepts inc. can undertake any size wellhead protection and aquifer risk assessment project, ranging from simple GUDI well assessments and correction, to partial data collection, to full wellfield protection programs tailored to meet specific site needs, which may include some or all of the following:

  • desktop reviews of local and regional surface features, topography, surficial and bedrock geology, and other information important to the site,
  • site visits to inventory possible point and non-point pollution sources,
  • aquifer vulnerability determinations using GIS (geographic information system),
  • wellhead protection area delineation modelling, and
  • planning, management and training services that aid in the deployment of proper land use and contingency activity for the protection of water supply systems.

earth-water Concepts inc. employs a number of wellhead protection area delineation methods, including: calculated fixed radius and variable shapes, various analytical models including WhAEM, hydrogeologic mapping, and steady and transient state 2D and 3D numerical flow and transport models.

Drought planning
Increasing threats from the effects of global climate change have raised the importance of drought planning, which can provide industry and communities with the assurance that they can correctly plan for and prosper in drought situations.

The mechanics of drought planning typically involve associating historic watershed, aquifer and supply reservoir performance to climate change projections, thus allowing predictions to be made about source recharge, drought risk, and ways to mitigate their effects. We can help industry and community water providers create comprehensive drought plans by analyzing new or existing water supplies, identifying source, aquifer and reservoir vulnerabilities, and proposing changes to reservoir design and management, aquifer and watershed management, water usage and other drought procedures.

Demand/supply analysis
Adequate supplies of clean water provide the foundation for strong economies, healthy ecosystems and a high quality of life. For this reason, large water users and water providers need to understand where water may be sufficient to meet peak, seasonal, and long-term demand, and where it may not. In rapidly growing communities, it is critical to know what future demand may be, how well supply can match demand, what natural constraints may exist on growth, and the capital investment, operating budgets and pricing structures needed to sustain water supplies, related economies, and nature.

We have done water demand and supply analysis, in the process defining surface source reservoir adequacy and necessary improvements and aquifer capacity and management requirements for short and long-term water use by small and medium communities and large industries. This information allows communities to prepare and budget properly for growth and sustainable increases in water demand.

Well field optimization
The primary goals of a properly optimized and managed well field are to maximize water production while also increasing well lifespan and reducing power, operating and treatment costs for the delivery of high quality drinking water. Achieving this requires a clear understanding of the aquifer, recharge, the nature and degree of well interference, and water quality variability across the well field as it relates to natural geologic and seasonal changes and individual well pumping rates.

It makes little sense to spend large sums of money to remedy low production by adding wells, or to correct poor quality water with costly treatment, when investing smaller amounts wisely on proper well field operating techniques can often overcome these difficulties. By analyzing well information through a combination of groundwater and statistical models, earth-water Concepts inc. can recommend how a well field should be operated to maximize capacity and water quality, thus reducing the need for treatment and delaying or avoiding costly well field expansion or well replacement.

 

Keywords: data management, groundwater, Groundwater And Surface Water, Water Providers, Water Resource, water resources, Water Supply, Wellhead Protection,

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