ACFN territory extends from central Alberta to Slave Lake, where some of the largest industrial projects in the world (mining of tar sands and bitumen extraction) are modifying the landscape and the water regime.
GW Solutions is working with ACFN in reviewing the proposed Teck Frontier Project (footprint of 29,000 ha), and how the mining and tailing disposal activities may modify the groundwater regime, both in quantity and quality. In particular, we will assess pre, during, and post-mining fluctuations of the water tables. We will also estimate how the flux of groundwater discharging to the Athabasca River will change, and how streams, lakes, and wetlands will lose some of their water resulting from drops in the water tables and groundwater/surface water interaction.
GW Solutions is also developing a hydrogeological conceptual model for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) territory. The key objectives are:
1. To build an understanding of the groundwater regime and its interaction with surface water within ACFN territory.
2. To assist in reviewing the potential modification of the groundwater regime resulting from existing or proposed projects within ACFN territory. For example, the hydrogeological conceptual model could be used to generate simple images to illustrate the movement of groundwater in the subsurface during communications with elders and the ACFN community when reviewing any industrial projects.