EL462 and EL463 - Regional Hydrology and Surface Water Quality Sampling

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, water sampling, hydrology, water monitoring

Principal Investigator: Hansen, Ken (9)
Licence Number: 15118
Organization: Husky Oil Operations Ltd.
Licenced Year(s): 2015 2014 2013 2012
Issued: Jul 04, 2012
Project Team: Darren Heck (Environmental Project Coordinator, MWH Canada Inc.), R.M. (Bob) Raina (Client Service Manager, MWH Canada Inc.), Bill Pickens (Project Manager/Quality Control, MWH Americas Inc.), Cary Foulk (Supervising Geologist, MWH Americas Inc.), Kelly Johnson (Geochemist, MWH Americas Inc.), Elizabeth Vanpelt (Environmental Scientist, MWH Americas Inc.), Linda Gage (Project Coodinator, MWH Americas Inc.), Bonnie Fraser (Office Administrator, MWH Canada Inc.), Carmen Bernado (Principal Engineer, MWH Americas Inc.), Gretchen Elwell (GIS Specialist, MWH Americas Inc.)

Objective(s): To establish baseline water quality, water levels and flow conditions and to evaluate potential changes in water quality and quantity before and after initiation of site operations.

Project Description: The objectives of this research project are: to establish baseline water quality, water levels and flow conditions; and to evaluate potential changes in water quality and quantity before and after initiation of site operations.

A desktop regional hydrological assessment will be conducted by analyzing existing Water Survey of Canada hydrometric data for stations situated near the area of investigation. This will provide a good representation on the typical timing and responses of rivers and creeks in the region.

The three main drainage basins within the exploration licenses are: Bog Creek, Slater River and Little Bear River. The research team will install water level recorders within these three basins to measure flow periodically throughout the open water season to begin establishing reliable stage-discharge relationships for these three basins. These will be situated either just upstream of respective outlets to the Mackenzie River, or upstream along the channels near proposed road crossings.

The research team will collect surface water samples at 39 locations, covering rivers, creeks and water bodies (e.g. ponds or lakes) associated with the leases. These samples will be collected to evaluate the water quality of the primary surface water bodies that are flowing both on and off the area of investigation. Two collection campaigns are proposed in an attempt to capture natural variability under different flow conditions based on seasonal changes.

The reporting phase associated with these tasks will involve the preparation of a report summarizing the investigations and the presentation of baseline information. A full suite of analysis is proposed during the initial sampling campaign, and a second sampling campaign later during the open water season will be conducted to capture variations in water quality that can possibly occur under differing flow conditions. The second surface water quality campaign analysis will likely be on only certain selected key parameters.

As the project develops and Husky determines the water supply sources needed, further studies and scope changes will be provided. These may include, for example, reviewing impacts of water extractions on the Mackenzie River and conducting bathymetric survey on water bodies with respect to water use within the exploration licenses. As more stream discharge data is collected, and depending on the requirement for more accurate flow derivations for the three basins within the exploration licenses, hydrological modeling studies may also be proposed. Also, any potential impoundment (i.e. to collect and confine (water) in or as if in a reservoir) concerns stemming from road crossings of tributaries that may have effects on the hydrologic regime of the affected rivers/creeks, both upstream and downstream, will be studied.

This study is being conducted on behalf of Husky Oil Operations Ltd. The results of this study will be incorporated into Husky's stakeholder engagement/community consultation program.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from July 4, 2012 to October 15, 2012.