Présentations Colloques

    Oral Presentation
    Session 7.07: Transdisciplinary and participatory approaches in groundwater research and management
    Lefebvre Rene
    A path towards aquifer management through the empowerment of water stakeholders
    Regional aquifer assessments produce a wealth of scientific and technical information that is essential for the sound management of groundwater resources. However, generally regional water stakeholders are not groundwater specialists and they cannot be expected to readily handle specialized hydrogeological maps and data. This presentation provides an overview of the path being followed in Quebec to ensure that the knowledge developed about aquifers ends up being used to protect and manage groundwater resources. This path includes knowledge development, transfer to stakeholders, information translation, and the development of aquifer management plans.** **In 2009, a law made groundwater a common good in Quebec, which required the state to take care of groundwater and thus develop the knowledge needed to manage the resource. A systematic aquifer assessment program (PACES) involved projects carried out by universities with the participation of regional stakeholder, mainly watershed organizations (OBV) that are mandated to ensure water governance and regional municipalities (MRC) responsible for land use planning. From 2009 to 2015, the PACES assessed groundwater resources over about 70% of the Quebec municipal territory. A structured knowledge transfer program was created to ensure that OBV and MRC personnel were able to comprehend and use the data produced through the PACES. ****Further efforts were also made “translate” the specialized technical knowledge produced by PACES projects. Conceptual hydrogeological models were used to synthesize and illustrate the functioning of aquifer systems. Furthermore, indicator maps were derived to provide representations of conditions needed for the sustainable management of groundwater resources- preserve quantity, preserve quality, ensure socioeconomic well-being, protect ecosystems, and support sound water management. Another pilot study is building on previous steps to develop a mechanism allowing the development of regional groundwater management plans. Such management plans would then guide specific actions, notably through land use planning, in order to protect and sustainably use groundwater resources.**


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