Regional district conducts test on Gabriola well water

The Regional District of Nanaimo wants to know how much water is flowing underground on Gabriola.

The RDN is conducting groundwater monitoring on the island from Aug. 19-26, thanks to 11 private owners who volunteered their wells for study. The goal is to understand how ocean tides influence groundwater and underground storage capacity on Gabriola.

The monitoring is part of the RDN’s Water Budget project that aims to determine how much fresh water is available in each watershed and the demand and stresses on aquifers and underground water sources. The information will help the RDN shape regional growth strategies.

Christina Metherall, drinking water and watershed protection coordinator, said that drawing too much water from a well usually leads to salt intrusion.

“If you take out too much water you start to impact on quality,” she said.

The well water doesn’t have to be drinkable in this monitoring project because the RDN is currently measuring quantity, not quality.

The information gathered on Gabriola will be shared with the Islands Trust and it might be used to determine future land-use planning.

For more information please go to and click on the drinking water and watershed protection link.

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