Ground Water Canada

Features Associations Business
OGWA conference teams up with U of G for aquifer tour and pays tribute to its own

June 9, 2015  By Ground Water Canada


June 9, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – Members of the Ontario Ground
Water Association met for their yearly golf tournament, conference
and annual general meeting in Guelph, Ont., June 5 and 6.


June 9, 2015, Guelph, Ont. – Members of the Ontario Ground
Water Association met for their yearly golf tournament, conference
and annual general meeting in Guelph, Ont., June 5 and 6.



By all accounts, Friday’s golf tournament and social were enjoyable
and well attended, with nearly 100 on the golf links and nearly 150 at the evening
mixer, executive director Craig Stainton said.


Fleming College’s Gord Bailey updated members on news about the past year's Resources Drilling and
Blasting program, which this year celebrates its 40-year anniversary. He announced several new courses, including a welding course on Nov. 28,
2015; a pumps course on March 1, 2016; and a pending course on disinfection.
The college has made Best Management Practices 1 available to purchase for $240
(although the training itself is free), and is hoping to offer BMP 2 as well.

In a promising outreach program, drilling and blasting instructor Steve 

is setting up a drilling school in China that
focuses especially on how to motivate students to think on their feet, said Bailey, noting that the Chinese students, though technically proficient, generally need improvement in their
problem-solving skills.


On Saturday afternoon, president Darren Juneau gave members, who numbered about 50,
a brief update on the progress of talks between OGWA and CELA. CELA had
identified loopholes in the new Ontario Reg. 903 that could potentially lead to
litigation. Juneau and Craig Stainton met earlier this spring
with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) to discuss the regulation and potential issues that may arise from it. The associations are talking, Juneau said,
but it’s expected to be at least a year-long process.


Wong of the Canadian Water Quality Association offered insight into his
association’s dealings with the Ontario College of Trades, adding that they could expect to see
some action in November or December. 


Following the conference sessions, about 30 hale and hearty members took a pleasant – if at times hot – stroll through the University of Guelph Arboretum on Saturday to the university’s
Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility. Participants, who included hydrogeologists, well drillers and equipment distributors, were impressed with the depth and
breadth of research occurring at the facility, which consists of a workshop
where equipment and core samples are housed, educational trailers and two boreholes.
Dr. Beth Parker, director of the Centre for Applied Groundwater Research, and her
research team walked participants through seven stations detailing the extensive and promising work
they are doing on, among other subjects, well contaminants.


About 75 members and families attended the banquet to hear guest
speaker Dr. David Rudolph, professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of
Earth and Environmental Sciences. Rudolph, who specializes in regional hydrogeology
and ground water protection and management, highlighted some emerging
challenges for ground water worldwide, including over-exploitation and
allocation of surface water, uncertain climate conditions and increasing
dependence on ground water. He described a recent family trip and sabbatical
through record-dry Lake Mead territory, before arriving in Davis, Calif., which is at
the epicentre of the drought. He drew attention to some eye-opening statistics: 40 per cent of the Earth’s land area is used
for agriculture, he said, and agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of global
fresh water withdrawal. By 2050, food demand may increase by 70 per cent and
agricultural water demands may increase by 50 per cent. There are lots of water
quantity issues and more and more strain on supplies, he said.


Rudolph highlighted a couple of local success stories he has
been involved in, including de-icing mitigation in Waterloo region, whereby
road salt was measured to try to estimate how much was getting into the ground
water, with an overall goal of reducing salt application on local roads by 25
per cent. He and colleagues installed monitoring wells by drilling at the curb
where salt usually gets trapped. The unsaturated, or vadose, zone just below
the curb holds three to four years’ worth of road salt data, he said, allowing
the researchers to study it. They achieved a reduction of about 22 per cent, he
said, adding that “it’s proof we can manage problems without resorting to water treatment.”


Retiring board member Rob MacKinnon was presented with the
Tenacity Award for his faithful attendance despite numerous obstacles,
presenter Craig Stainton joked.


OGWA officer manager Anne Gammage was recognized for her years of research assistance to Oxford County researcher Heather Gingerich.


Ron and Shawn Hopper of W.D. Hopper & Sons Ltd. of
Seaforth, Ont., accepted an award and congratulations for prospering after an
impressive 100 years of operation in the water well drilling industry.


This year exhibitors decided to
forgo the trade-show portion of the event to allow some time between exhibits, said Stainton, but there are plans to
include a trade show at next year’s gathering. 

 newboardl  walkersl
The new board for 2015-16! Ambitious walkers set out to see the U of Guelph's Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility.
 tour1l tourcrusherl
tourpacker1l  banquetwatsonwilsontablel
 banquet1l banquetcandaceronhopperl
 awardshawnronhoppers  awardheatherplusannegammagel
Shawn and Ron Hopper accept a plaque recognizing their amazing 100 years in the industry. Anne Gammage (right) is recognized for outstanding
service and assistance to researcher and hydrogeologist Heather Gingerich.

W.D. Hopper & Sons celebrates 100 years in water well drilling.
Back row, left to right: Simon Hopper, Rob Urbankowski,
Shawn Hopper,
Ethan Hopper, Ron Hopper, Paul Hopper,
Matthew Hopper and Phillip
Front row, left to right: Lyndsey Hopper, Melissa
Linsey Hopper, Nettie Hopper, Candace Hopper,
Natalie Hopper,
Kendra Hopper and Jennifer Hopper.
Absent were Doug and Samantha Hopper; Allan and Hallie Hopper;
Tim and Ashley Hopper; Scott and Melissa Hopper.



Print this page


Stories continue below