Regional District of Nanaimo launches water map app

NANAIMO – Online interactive site maps waterways and water supplies, land use and even areas of First Nations historical significance.

People wondering where their water comes from, how it’s used, land uses in their area and even areas of First Nations historical significance can turn to a new Regional District of Nnaaimo online interactive map.

The map, part of the regional district’s Drinking Water Watershed Protection program, combines provincial and regional district data to display graphical information about land use, watersheds, aquifers, streams and water bodies within the regional district’s nine water regions from Qualicum to South Wellington.

“The intent is to connect residents in our region to a more place-based framework for connecting with water information,” said Julie Pisani, RDN drinking water and watershed protection coordinator. “If they have questions like, ‘Where are the aquifers? What streams are in my area? What projects are going on? Where are there monitoring sites?’ the idea is to have a map interface for people to access that information, as opposed to just a list.”

The app is a one-window access point for information from the province, regional district, stream-keeper groups and other agencies supplying information to the site.

Users simply go into the site and click on their region in a main map, which pops up a map of the selected region. Site visitors can then click on category boxes to display information overlays. For instance, clicking on “Aquifers” displays all information about aquifers and provincial monitoring wells in the water region.

There are also listings for community workshops, programs, water conservation tips and water budget studies.

“We’re also working with the aboriginal education coordinator in School District 69 and we’re able to locate places of First Nations significance on the maps, so that’s another layer of information people might be interested in,” Pisani said.

Some of that information includes audio files for pronunciation of First Nation place names.

“There’s lots to explore and we’ll be updating – it’ll be an ongoing thing – as information comes in,” Pisani said.

To try out the map, please visit the Regional District of Nanaimo’s Drinking Water Protection program website at www.dwwp.ca.