Providing credible water resource solutions: Working with Nature's Science

The quality of the decisions that can be made in planning and developing water resources is largely dependent on the quality of the information that is made available to decision makers from water resource assessments. These require systematic studies that provide the information on water availability and accessibility needed to help maximize resultant economic and social welfare and sustainability of vital ecosystems. But any preference that inhibits judgement can prejudice a correct solution. Therefore, our service is dedicated to scientific investigation: qualify, then quantify; evaluate, then reach conclusions.

Groundwater hydrology
earth-water Concepts inc. is an industry leader incorporating the latest in knowledge and technology to assess groundwater occurrence, movement, and quality. We have experience in ten provinces and territories, including all of Atlantic Canada, but we choose to focus our data systems and work in Nova Scotia. As a result, we excel at what we do.See more.
Whether your goal is to search for a new groundwater source, to expanded an existing supply, or to evaluate the impacts that society may have imposed on existing groundwater resources, knowledge of aquifer systems and their interaction with surface waters is paramount in sustaining water supplies for drinking, agriculture, industry, and natural ecosystem protection.

The key to nature is knowledge. It lets us choose and invest wisely. To this end, earth-water Concepts inc. partners with our clients to provide sound, factual assessments, examples of which may include:
  • geologic, hydrogeologic, and related land-use, regulatory, and socio-economic characterization,

  • aquifer and well yield pumping test design, implementation and analysis to determine well and aquifer yields, and groundwater flow direction and travel times,

  • groundwater quality sampling and hydrochemistry assessment and mapping,

  • mining, blasting, groundwater pumping, and construction drainage impact studies,

  • forensic investigations involving contamination migration, impact on aquifer systems, water supply resources, and related ecosystems,

  • conjunctive water use evaluations,

  • wellfield siting, design optimization, and source water and wellhead protection area delineation, policy development and implementation,

  • individual well assessments, down-hole video, geophysics and geochemical analysis,

  • groundwater recharge/discharge evaluation, sea-water intrusion, and assessment of climate change affects on groundwater and associated riparian and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

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Watershed and surface water hydrology
Proper watershed management and water resource development requires a solid appreciation of the dynamic interactions between watershed land forms, groundwater, and surface water. With our roots firmly set in geoscience, earth-water Concepts inc. staff have skills needed to fully understand these closely related surface and subsurface processes.See more.
Our strength is in physical and chemical hydrology. Our associated services include aquatic and terrestrial biologists, ecologists, chemists, engineers, information managers, planners, and socio-economists. Each one is a senior expert in their own field. Each one understands the value of an accountable environmental agenda. That's important when you need a professional service to work with you, for:
  • watershed modelling and analysis, for water supply, flood delineation, flood impact assessment, reservoir sizing, dam safety reviews,

  • project drainage and run-off/infiltration assessments, storm water runoff reduction, groundwater recharge and site-water preservation,

  • storm water receiving studies and analysis,

  • point and non-point source contamination modelling and assessments,

  • overland flow and erosion modelling,

  • stream sediment sampling, sediment transport modelling,

  • stream water-quality sampling and analysis,

  • stream flow gauging/station installation, water resources and meteorological data collection, stream-flow and lake level analysis,

  • water budget analysis, watershed, water source capability analysis for community and industrial water supply, hydro projects, agriculture,

  • climate change related analysis,

  • watershed management plans, stream preservation, and riparian ecosystem assessment and protection.

Through the application of adaptive management principles, we integrate science and management, delivering the most targeted solution possible.

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Source water development
We recognize the challenges faced by industry and public water suppliers to provide high-quality, dependable supplies to our communities. New sources of water often need to be developed in areas that are already heavily tapped with competing users, or with limited availability, or where water quality may be an issue.See more.
Industrial water users are beginning to recognize the treatment cost advantages of bank filtration, and where site conditions allow, municipal water providers are increasingly demanding the conversion from surface water intakes to groundwater. However, industry and municipalities must both ensure high volume groundwater yields to develop new water supplies or to replace existing ones.

earth-water Concepts inc. staff apply a comprehensive process to source water development that combines the following to fully characterize alluvial and/or bedrock aquifers:
  • surficial and bedrock geologic surveys,

  • stream sediment deposition,

  • watershed and aquifer modelling,

  • utility operation and maintenance considerations,

  • assessment of regulatory constraints,

  • properly designed surface water monitoring systems, and

  • properly designed groundwater tests

As such, we provide practical designs for surface reservoirs or wellfields that can produce the maximum sustainable water yield at the lowest possible total cost. We partner with our clients, from source assessment and development, to overseeing system construction and start-up, through to operator training to manage aquifers and to monitor surface reservoirs.

We help industry and communities meet the need for sustainable, high-quality water supplies while protecting the natural resources that are integral to the natural health of the watershed and their water supplies. We help our clients with increasingly complex issues involving land use, changing climate conditions, and water shortages, so they can meet their water resources needs of today without mortgaging the future.

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Groundwater exploration
Groundwater can be a high-quality, cost-effective and reliable long-term water supply option for municipalities and industry. Attaining a consistent and high level of success in subsurface exploration is a special craft that demands the skilful application of sound geologic and other scientific principals, proper data management, and expert intuition.See more.
The practice of seeking new groundwater supply by drilling at locations  that are chosen based solely on proximity to existing infrastructure, or ease of access for drilling, may work for small single-home supplies, but will seldom give desired results when demand is large. Real solutions depend on impartial assessments and the application of sound, directly-relevant science.

Seeking fresh-water groundwater supply for community or industrial use, or salt-groundwater sources for aquaculture, earth-water Concepts inc. delivers comprehensive groundwater exploration and supply development services from concept to completion and beyond that can help ensure sustainable results for you.

Related activities may include:
  • design, management, creation, and interpretation of geophysical and geological mapping surveys,

  • lineament analysis coupled with geophysical surveys to help identify high-permeability areas for better fracture flow production,

  • on-site mapping and design, optimization, management and supervision of drill-site exploration activities,

  • detailed well logging, microscopic analysis of drill cutting returns, and down-hole videography,

  • large scale and detailed subsurface geologic and hydrogeologic water resource mapping,

  • new-well and existing well rehabilitation design to optimize well life and wellfield production.

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Geothermal - water source interaction
Climbing fuel costs and concern for the environment have resulted in great advances in ground-source thermal extraction technologies. Their use by industry, municipalities, and private land owners has increased significantly. But the processes used to extract energy move at much higher rates than those that restore energy into the subsurface, and often,See more.
...little is invested to correctly assess subsurface geologic systems, project sustainability, or the possible conflicting interactions that ground-source thermal extraction may have with existing and/or future groundwater drinking supply resources and groundwater quality.

The growing number and size of investments in geothermal projects have raised the importance of understanding and optimizing subsurface geothermal and geochemical processes. Good knowledge of the local geology and related groundwater flow and quality is paramount in providing maximum results for investment in heating systems while also protecting water supplies for drinking or industry. earth-water Concepts inc. staff have the skills needed to properly assess the conjunctive use of these most important thermal and water resources, through:
  • geologic and hydrogeologic mapping to characterize subsurface thermal storage media and groundwater flow,

  • pumping (hydraulic) testing and analysis of wells designed for ground-source thermal use to evaluate adjacent groundwater flows,

  • assessment of geothermal well construction and grouting on aquifer flows,

  • thermal conductivity testing and analysis of wells drilled into soil and/or bedrock,

  • ground-source thermal well and wellfield design and cost optimization,

  • hydro-thermal groundwater heat flow and transfer modelling, hydro-geochemical modelling to assess thermal affects on aquifers,

  • groundwater thermal plume migration assessment, plume capture optimization for balanced heating/cooling for both, closed-loop and open-loop systems,

  • conjunctive thermal and water resource assessment and use planning.

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Water supply permitting
Calls from government for hydrogeologic assessments for development or to obtain water taking permits is unavoidable. However, when done properly the information gained from the permitting process can improve property equity and the value of your water supply. Our clients have learned to depend on our knowledge of the water-rights processes.See more.
Most proceed with permitting at the tail end of the property development or water supply development process, but instead we encourage our clients to consider permitting and other regulatory needs at the very start of their projects. That way project and water system design can be tailored to more efficiently and cost-effectively meet regulatory needs, helping you to avoid nasty surprises and gain a better understanding of how to properly manage your water supply when we're done -- so the process can be an investment.

Examples of how we can help you include:
  • completion of level 1 and 2 hydrogeological assessments as per the HRM Development Agreements and Subdivision Approval process for Open Space Design Developments,

  • testing for and meeting wellfield GUDI (groundwater under direct influence of surface waters) criteria,

  • watershed recharge capability assessments to confirm proper groundwater withdrawal allocations,

  • data collection and calculation of proper reservoir requirements and stream and lake water taking allocations,

  • public hearings and coordination with regulatory agencies,

  • water supply contingency planning and development,

  • creating permitting support documents,

  • creating SOP, monitoring program manuals, operator training, and

  • monitoring and preparation of yearly production summaries as needed to meet permit requirements.

We remain involved with you, your engineers, and preferred construction firms, from source assessment and design, to main supply and contingency supply construction and start-up, through to the final paperwork.

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