Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 1.03: Sharing groundwater knowledge
Wendling Gilles
Site C Dam - Inadequate Hydrogeological Assessment and Lack of Assessment of Cumulative Effects
Key words- Large hydroelectric project, cumulative effects on water, First Nations rights**First Nations of Northeast British Columbia (Canada) are opposed to the construction of a large hydroelectric dam (Site C Dam) on the Peace River. When reviewing the hydrogeological studies completed by the provincial energy corporation (BC Hydro) in preparation of the permitting process, the First Nations discovered that the groundwater regime had not been properly defined, pre and post construction. For example, the basic definition of the aquifers, aquitards, and piezometric conditions near the dam has not been carried out. In addition, the proposed dam is located in a region already highly affected by industrial activities, in particular oil and gas and the recently developed shale gas industry and associated hydraulic fracturing. What is particularly lacking is an adequate understanding of the cumulative effects of the various activities (including drilling for oil and gas, the deep disposal of liquid waste, the induced seismic activities due to disposal of liquid waste and hydraulic fracturing) on water and ecosystems.**The hydrogeological team working on behalf of the First Nations has the very important role of reviewing and critiquing BC Hydro’s information and providing technical guidance to the First Nations leaders. This having to be done facing the challenge of compiling a large set of information, presenting it in a simple and illustrated way, with very limited time and resources. **The presentation will describe the complex setting of the dam and how the completed hydrogeological studies are inadequate to describe the basic hydrogeological conditions, for such a large dam, in 2016. It will also describe other activities conducted in the area of the dam, for which the cumulative effects have not been taken into account.**