Expert Panel to Examine Ontario's Sustainable Water Well Infrastructure

The Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology (CRESTech) has created an independent expert panel in support of a provincial program to improve sustainable water well infrastructure.

In Ontario, over three million people depend on a network of over 500,000 private and municipal wells, with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo being the largest jurisdiction in Canada to depend almost exclusively on groundwater for its clean drinking water.

The objectives of the panel are to document knowledge gaps and opportunities for improving water well infrastructure in Ontario as well as identify emerging threats to water well sustainability and assess Ontario's capacity to mitigate these threats. Also, the panel will provide a peer review of the findings from a CRESTech-sponsored "think-tank" process.

"Research is essential to the continuous improvement of the quality and safety of groundwater in Ontario," said Environment Minister Jim Wilson. "Our government is proud to support this initiative to help identify and meet the future challenges in providing all Ontarians with clean, safe drinking water."

The panel is a supportive element of the Sustainable Water Well Infrastructure (SWWI) project launched by the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) in 2002 as part of its Clean Water Strategy. It is one of several related initiatives being administered by CRESTech acting as independent agent on behalf of the ministry.

The expert panel was selected to be multi-disciplinary and representative of a broad range of relevant sector expertise. Its members are as follows.

Brian Beatty, BSc

(Water Resources Engineering), President, WB Beatty & Associates Limited. Panel Specialty: hydrogeology/groundwater resources

Mary Jane Conboy, Ph.D.

(Land Resource Science), MSc (Geology), BSc (Biology and Geology), Water Resources Researcher, Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Panel Specialty: rural water wells, bacterial transport

Mark Knight, Ph.D.

(Geotechnical/Environmental Engineering), MScE (Civil Engineering), BScE (Geological Engineering, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo. Panel Specialty: underground infrastructure - municipal, industrial and environmental applications

John Lebedin, MSc

(Hydrogeology), BSc (Geological Engineering), Manager, Earth Sciences Unit for PFRA (Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Panel Specialty: sustainability of water well infrastructure

Kent Novakowski, Panel Chair, Ph.D.

(Hydrogeology), MSc (Hydrogeology), BSc (Geological Sciences), Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Queens University. Panel Specialty: hydrogeology, microbiological interactions in a well environment

The first public meeting of the SWWI panel will be held in conjunction with the Grand River Watershed Water Forum (see details below). The general public is invited to take part in a dialogue with committee members and provide comments on the current terms of reference, which are available at

Grand River Watershed Water Forum

Friday, September 12, 2003 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.,

Grand River Conservation Authority Administration Centre,

400 Clyde Road, Cambridge, Ontario

The SWWI expert panel report will present its findings to the public and to the Ministry of the Environment on Thursday, November 13, 2003, at the 10th Annual A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium Latornell Symposium taking place at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ontario.

Centre for Research in Earth and Space Technology

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