Why a GPP?
Groundwater is a valuable natural resource and an important
source of drinking water for the District of Invermere. To
ensure this resource is protected into the future, the District
has prepared a comprehensive Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP)
to help the community fully understand and protect the local
groundwater source that supplies District residents with safe
Over time, the District will need additional water sources
to meet demand. The purpose of this plan is to better understand
the local aquifer in terms of its location and the amount
of water it contains. The GPP will map the deep aquifer, as
well as identify any potential sources of contamination. Once
we understand the resource better, we can develop proactive
management strategies to prevent undesirable impacts from
affecting the groundwater. With these practical guidelines
in place, we can be confident that the groundwater resources
are being protected to the best of our abilities. The result
will be a pristine water source for years to come.
There are a few main purposes for this project:
- 1. To understand whether there is potential for the Athalmer
Aquifer to provide additional water to meet the future water
needs of the District, and if so, to recommend an approach
to expand the use of this deep aquifer for municipal water
- 2. To work with the community to understand land uses
and activities that may pose a risk to the aquifer.
- To develop a groundwater protection plan highlighting
management strategies that will reduce the risk of aquifer
There are three groups acting as driving forces for this project:
the District of Invermere, the Interior Health Authority,
and the Community Planning Team.
The District of Invermere is leading the project and is ultimately
responsible for the Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP).
The Interior Health Authority is responsible for issuing
permits for the existing wells and ensuring provincial regulations
are followed with respect to potential health issues. IHA
provided a Permit to Operate for one municipal well in the
Athalmer Aquifer in 2006 and this permit requires that a GPP
The Community Planning Team is the stakeholder advisory committee
that is involved in all aspects of developing the GPP. The
Community Planning Team is comprised of members of the District
of Invermere and the Interior Health Authority, as well as
other potential stakeholders who will be invited to participate,
including a member of the public, and members of other groups
such as the development community, Canadian Pacific Railway,
and the Shuswap First Nations. The Community Planning Team
also includes the Consultant Team of Golder and Associates
and Urban Systems.