Fort Nelson First Nation Technical Assistance with Water Management

GW Solutions is working with the Fort Nelson First Nation, providing technical assistance with water management within their territory, occupying 144,000 km2, the size of Greece, at the northeast corner of BC.


GW Solutions started with providing a background of what was known, and unknown about groundwater and aquifers.  The baseline report also made recommendations on what should be known and the key missing pieces in the water story in order to better understand, manage, and to protect the numerous watersheds within Fort Nelson First Nation.  We are now gradually moving forward on that path.

Oil & Gas Well Sites Northeast BC

Oil & Gas Well Sites Northeast BC

Three large basins targeted for shale gas, the Horn River Basin, the Liard Basin and the Cordova Basin are all located within Fort Nelson First Nation Territory.

GW Solutions was invited to present at the Keepers of the Water VI conference in Fort Nelson in September 2012.  The presentation focused on groundwater and aquifers, as it relates to unconventional gas, and in particular the potential risks on groundwater resources due to the effects of drilling and fracking.  Several scenarios were described showing the potential long-term effects of fluid migrations and change of pressures and elevations of the water tables, plus how this could modify the groundwater and surface water interaction.  The reduction of river base flows, mostly during the most sensitive time of the year (end of summer, mid-winter) should not be excluded as a potential long-term consequence of leaky old wells.

During a town-hall meeting in January 2013, GW Solutions provided technical information on the role played by dugouts

Dr. Wendling was also invited to talk about the groundwater management in the Fort Nelson First Nation at an event organized by the Munk School of Global Affairs – Program on Water Issues (POWI), at the University of Toronto in June 2013.  The event was titled “Underground Intelligence: The need to map, monitor, and manage Canada’s groundwater resources in an era of drought and climate change.”  The webcast of the event is available here.

Timelapse video of industrial activity on Fort Nelson First Nation territory for the purposes of hydraulic fracturing. Produced by the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Department and mapper Bobby Concepcion.

Timelapse video of water withdrawals on Fort Nelson First Nation territory for the purpose of hydraulic fracturing. Produced by the Fort Nelson First Nation Lands Department and mapper Bobby Concepcion.

Keepers of the Water VI, sixth annual conference, September 26-29, 2012, held in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, hosted and organized by the Fort Nelson First Nation.

Dr. Gilles Wendling's presentation at the Fort Nelson First Nation Shale Gas and Water Town Hall, discussing the potential issues with industrial (shale gas extraction) water use and key knowledge gaps in the understanding of the Fort Nelson/Liard River water system.

Seismic Lines in Northeast BC

Fort Nelson First Nation Territory Bedrock Formation