Fort Nelson First Nation Expands Liard Basin Water Monitoring Initiative
Fort Nelson First Nation (FNFN) and Geoscience BC have signed an agreement which will see FNFN take over four hydrometric stations in its territory. The monitoring information gathered will be shared by FNFN on Mackenzie DataStream where it can be connected with other water monitoring data in the region.
FNFN will use the stations to monitor water flow as part of its Liard River Basin Monitoring Initiative project. As FNFN Chief Harrison Dickie explained, “These stations will build on the existing data collected by FNFN. This will ensure that when industry levels pick up, FNFN can make accurately and timely decisions in regards to proposed water withdrawals. This gives us the ability to make decisions with sound data to ensure our water is being utilized in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Previously, the stations were part of the Horn River Basin Aquifer Project run by Geoscience BC, an independent, non-profit organization that generates earth science information in collaboration with First Nations, local communities, governments, academia and the resource sector.
“The stations have been important in understanding any impacts the natural gas sector has on water flow. This new agreement ensures they can continue to provide open and valuable information for anyone to use, and will be a part of FNFN’s own locally-run initiative,” said Carolos Salas, Geoscience BC’s Vice President of Energy.
Data from the monitoring network will be independently verified by a qualified professional. FNFN will then add the information to Mackenzie DataStream. In doing so, this data will contribute to a better picture of freshwater ecosystem health not only in the Liard watershed, but also the larger Mackenzie River Basin of which it is part.