SI2015-C-3: “The Hydrogeology of Sable Island” – Terry W. Hennigar

The study of hydrogeology is a science which is still in its infancy, being practiced for only 50 years in Nova Scotia. This paper will present an overview of the hydrogeology, with a focus on the fresh water resources, of Sable Island.  The role of the sand deposits, morphology and dynamics of the dune structures and systems, precipitation, and tidal influences will be discussed.  The distribution, quality, and importance of both surface water and groundwater resources of the island will be discussed.

Long-term water level trends and an approach to assess the sustainable groundwater withdrawals from the fresh water lens underlying the island will be presented. The location and rates of groundwater withdrawals will be considered to support a future development of an eco-tourism program that may be permitted by Parks Canada.

The Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water in Canada has recommended a multi- barrier approach to protecting drinking water supplies.  The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Environment, has developed a process, guidelines, and regulations for the development, management, and protection of Municipal Drinking Water sources and supplies.  The operation of Municipal drinking water systems requires certified operators of the utilities, the co-operation and input of the general public, and participation of various levels of government.

A brief overview will be provided outlining the monitoring, data collection, and reporting that is standard practice to ensure that due diligence is being followed in protecting the health of the public from the various sources of contamination that pose risks in drinking water.