Modern Geophysical Methods Applied to Rural Groundwater Development

June 5, 2024 — 2:30–3:45 p.m.

Though 98 per cent of the available freshwater in the world is groundwater, these resources are underutilized. Nevertheless, from Africa to rural Alberta, groundwater may be the only option. In sub-Saharan Africa, conditions are particularly dire as 58 per cent of the population is rural and 90 per cent of that rural population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture. The increasing frequency and severity of droughts in East and Southern Africa has exacerbated the reliance of rural populations on groundwater for both domestic consumption and food production.

In Alberta, only 20 per cent of the population is rural, but 90 per cent of that population relies on groundwater. Currently, approximately 50 per cent of Alberta is experiencing “extreme” to “exceptional” drought conditions, including almost all of southern Alberta. This session will discuss dramatic improvements in sitting water wells from use of a combination of geophysical exploration approaches. We will discuss the successful use of geophysical exploration methods as applied to the 2001–2002 drought in Alberta, and how some of the modern exploration methods currently being used in underdeveloped areas of rural Africa can and should be applied to sourcing groundwater in Alberta.

Presented by