Ground­wa­ter stu­dy aims to ‘dee­pen our know­ledge’

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Sou­langes MNA Lu­cie Char­le­bois, along with Vau­dreuil MNAY­von Mar­coux, re­cent­ly an­noun­ced a stu­dy of the ground­wa­ter in the Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes re­gion.

The stu­dy, for which the pro­vince has pro­mi­sed close to $200,000, was an­noun­ced by the pair on be­half of Pierre Ar­cand, Mi­nis­ter of Sus­tai­nable De­ve­lop­ment, En­vi­ron- ment and Parks.

In a press re­lease, the MNAs point to the re­gion’s unique ground­wa­ter chal­lenges, ne­ver more evident than noww­hen wa­ter le­vels are at alar­min­gly low le­vels and which has promp­ted ma­ny mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties to is­sue allout wa­ter bans on such things as wa­te­ring plants and flo­wers with hoses, wa­shing cars, filling swim­ming pools, and more.

The fun­ding an­noun­ce­ment, which al­so ack­now­ledges the chal­lenges the re­gion faces “in­clu­ding the reconciliation of agri­cul­tu­ral ac­ti­vi­ties,” points to the need to pre­serve “our pre­cious wa­ter re­sources.”

The aim of the ground­wa­ter stu­dy is to al­low the pro­vince “to ob­tain an ac­cu­rate pic­ture of the si­tua­tion to take the best de­ci­sions in the best in­ter­ests of the population,” ac­cor­ding to the press re­lease.

Re­sear­chers from the Uni­ver­si­té du Qué­bec à Mon­tréal (UQAM) and the École po­ly­tech­nique de Mon­tréal will conduct the stu­dy that will co­ver an 814-square ki­lo­me­ter area of the re­gion that is home to 137,000 people. A population in­crease was no­ted as one rea­son for the need for the stu­dy.

The to­tal amount of funds al­lot­ted to the stu­dy is $195,108. The funds come from the Programme d’ac­qui­si­tion de connais­sances sur les eaux sou­ter­raines, or PACES.

The stu­dy will cor­res­pond to the “Que­bec por­tion of the 19 wa­ter­sheds that drain in­to the Ot­ta­wa Ri­ver, in­to the Lake of Two Moun­tains, the St.La­wrence Ri­ver and Lake Saint-Fran­çois,” the press re­lease no­ted.

In a writ­ten sta­te­ment, the mi­nis­ter ack­now­led­ged that wa­ter is not the abun­dant and li­mit­less re­source people once thought it was.

“We­nowk­now­that we­must do eve­ry­thing to pre­serve this pre­cious he­ri­tage,” Ar­cand said in the press re­lease.

He be­lieves the best was to pre­serve wa­ter is to “dee­pen our know­ledge.” PACES was crea­ted for this rea­son, he ad­ded.

The stu­dy of the ground­wa­ter of 80 percent of mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties in Sou­thern Qué­bec is ex­pec­ted to take up to th­ree years to com­plete.

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA EDSON

Auc­tio­neer Ga­ry Pe­ter­son, of Hud­son Auc­tions, conducts a recent auc­tion of hun­dreds of items.

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