Water Monitoring and Testing

Provincial governments monitor groundwater quality and quantity.

Provincial governments track groundwater quality and quantity trends to help manage groundwater resources in a sustainable manner. In Alberta, Alberta Environment and Parks manages a network of monitoring wells called the Groundwater Observation Well Network (GOWN). This network consists of over 250 active monitoring wells with over 40 equipped with satellite devices that transmit near real-time data on water. Thirteen new observation wells were added in the unconventional oil and natural gas resource areas to extend groundwater monitoring to better understand the effects of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater sources.

Groundwater testing

Canada’s natural gas industry voluntarily follows CAPP’s operating practices to test water wells within 250 metres of natural gas development to document and analyze any changes in water quality and quantity over time and to understand if there has been any impact on the water due to operations.Water testing may be undertaken for:
  • Domestic wells
  • Natural springs
  • Water sources
  • Larger, regional monitoring projects with the government and regulator

In some jurisdictions, such as Alberta for coalbed methane development domestic water well testing is required by regulation. The requirements for the groundwater testing are based on a number of site specific factors.


Additional Guidance in Operating Practices