July 14, 2011, Fort McMurray, AB – The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has launched a new Ground Water Working Group (GWWG).
The group’s focus is on improving scientific knowledge of regional ground water systems using effective characterization, monitoring and modeling approaches that support and promote the overall objective of watershed integrity. The GWWG will develop recommendations for regional ground water quality and quantity.
The GWWG will report annually on the environmental risks, status and trends of the ground water quality and quantity within the surface mining areas, in-situ areas and in association with tailings ponds and end pit lakes. The input of traditional environmental knowledge will be a key component in the GWWG work plan, research and recommendations.
“Over the past number of years CEMA has commissioned scientific studies into the ground water around north-eastern Alberta. Those findings are available on the CEMA website,” said Glen Semenchuk, CEMA executive director. “However, it was only recently that the CEMA board chose to create a new Ground Water Working Group and further examine this important resource to the local ecosystem.”
In recent years, impacts to ground water resources in the Athabasca Oil Sands region have become an increasing concern for stakeholders and regulatory agencies. The GWWG is being established by CEMA to address management of cumulative effects of industrial development on the functioning of ground water systems in the regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
CEMA is a multi-stakeholder society that is a key advisor to the provincial and federal governments committed to respectful, inclusive dialogue to make recommendations to manage the cumulative environmental effects of regional development on air, land, water and biodiversity.
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