The 606 Water Group is a new local citizens group. Aquifer 606, also known as the Metchosin Sooke Aquifer, is a big one, extending from Royal Roads to approximately Jordan River. Deep wells in the Western Communities likely tap into Aquifer 606. Adopting the Aquifer’s number to name the 606 Water Group expresses the need to preserve water resources in the Western Communities and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.
Aquifer 606 is a bedrock aquifer, low yield and vulnerable to contamination. A well shaft must intercept fractures in the rock with water running through them. “Upstream” wells can deplete or contaminate “downstream” wells.
Residents in Metchosin are worried that new industrial wells on land swapped out of Metchosin in 2017 may be permitted to draw from 606 despite an agreement this would not happen. BC’s groundwater licensing program is supposed to ensure new wells do not affect existing wells or exhaust the resource. But how can they be sure when data is lacking?
The Saanich Peninsula has 10 observation wells, nine of them collecting data for over 20 years. Two observation wells at one site in Sooke have been collecting data for four years. There are no other observation wells on record for the rest of the CRD. Areas depending on groundwater need wells to monitor the resource.
The 606 Water Group will advocate governments for better water management. It will need a wide, cooperative network to achieve sustainable water use going forward. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org