Associated brings relevant experience to assist clients to obtain well licences. Our expertise includes assessment of environmental flow needs, environmental assessments, well assessments, and assistance with the licensing process. Here is a sample of our project experience.


Water Sustainability Act – Hydrogeological Advice

Client: Vernon Golf & Country Club

Since the 1950s, the Vernon Golf and Country Club (VGCC) has operated several wells to provide irrigation water to the golf course. Following changes to the regulatory requirements for groundwater users in February 2016, the VGCC retained Associated Environmental Consultants to provide information on relevant regulations, and advisory services that included assisting with a water licence application for the wells. We used several sources of information to confirm proof of use, and determine volumes used and details of the works, before submitting an application to Front Counter BC for a groundwater use licence. The VGCC received their water licence in January 2017.


Technical Assessment of Groundwater Availability

Client: Silver Birch Development Corp.

Associated completed an assessment of groundwater availability for a proposed 19 lot subdivision near Vernon, BC. The goal of the study was to assess the capability of groundwater to supply the subdivision water requirements without negatively impacting adjacent properties and wells. Associated's scope included: summarizing the hydrologic, geologic, and hydrogeological setting of the project area; completing a water balance for the underlying aquifer assuming full subdivision build-out; and assessing interference between neighbouring wells by reviewing pumping test data. The assessment indicated that the aquifer can provide adequate supply to meet the demand of the proposed subdivision at full build-out and potential impacts to neighbouring wells to be minimal.

2015 Drought Response: Interior BC

Client: BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO)

To support emergency drought response in late summer 2015, Associated Environmental Consultants was engaged to identify streams that were critically low, and where restricting agricultural water withdrawals from the streams could prevent significant harm to the aquatic ecosystem of the stream. Several watersheds were examined in the interior Thompson-Okanagan Region. Using available land use and crop type information, irrigation water demands from the streams were estimated, and the potential benefit of reducing irrigation withdrawals was assessed. The work enabled FLNRO to prioritize streams where voluntary and regulatory action was needed to restrict irrigation to preserve aquatic ecosystems. FLNROs drought response was subsequently recognized with a Premier’s Award of Excellence.


Collaborative Development of Methods to Set Environmental Flow Needs in Okanagan Streams

Clients: Okanagan Basin Water Board, Okanagan Nation Alliance, and BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

Based on the need to better understand environmental flow needs (EFNs) to inform water allocation decisions, Associated was engaged to lead a collaborative study to develop methods to determine EFNs for streams within the Okanagan Basin. The study involved the development of an EFN-setting approach that uses a desktop assessment appropriate for low risk situations, and a desktop assessment followed by a field-based assessment for higher risk situations. The methods are now being successfully implemented on 19 high priority streams in the Okanagan Basin.

Mission Creek Surface – Groundwater Interactions Study

Clients: Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan Nation Alliance

Associated Environmental Consultants Inc. was retained to provide technical training and advisory services for a surface water - groundwater interaction investigation on Mission Creek in south-central B.C. Ten monitoring transects were established along Mission Creek to record water levels and streamflow, and monitoring wells were established adjacent to the transects to monitor groundwater levels. The goal of the project was to quantify the flow from the creek into groundwater and vice versa, and thereby identify “flow gaining” and “flow losing” reaches. This information will be used to support water allocation decisions under the new Water Sustainability Act.


Monthly Water Budget for the Similkameen Valley Aquifer

Client: BC Ministry of Environment

Driven by the information needs associated with BC’s new Water Sustainability Act (WSA), the BC Ministry of Environment (MOE) retained Associated Environmental Consultants to develop a groundwater budget for the Similkameen Valley aquifer. Both irrigation and municipal waterworks rely heavily on groundwater in the Similkameen River Valley. Existing groundwater users will be licensed under the WSA, and new wells will also require a licence. The main purpose of the groundwater budget study is to support licensing of existing and new groundwater users.

South Cranberry Hydroelectric Project Long-term Fish Monitoring Program

Client: Advanced Energy Systems

To support regulatory requirements related to the construction and operation of a run-of-river hydroelectric facility on South Cranberry Creek near Revelstoke, Associated Environmental Consultants Inc. (Associated) completed several technical studies and assessments, and assisted the project owner (Advanced Energy Systems) in preparing a Water Act Licence application for the project. In addition, Associated acted as the Independent Environmental Monitor during construction, and continues to conduct post-construction monitoring and adaptive instream flow studies as required under the Fisheries Act Authorization.