Observation Well Network
The Water Security Agency operates Saskatchewan’s Groundwater Level Observation Well Network, which consists of 70 monitoring wells, each equipped with an automatic water level recorder. These wells are used for monitoring only and are not directly subjected to pumping, although they may be influenced by pumping from other wells. The first network wells were completed in 1964, with the majority of the wells completed in the 1960’s and 70’s, with wells being added up to 2000. The network is distributed across the southern half of Saskatchewan with wells completed in a range of aquifer types ranging from shallow unconfined alluvial sand aquifers to deep, highly confined bedrock aquifers. Well depths range from 6 to 555 metres. Typically, the water level data from the wells is gathered in the spring and fall and after data processing, the hydrograph for each well is updated. These hydrographs represent a plot of each well’s mean monthly water levels.
In general, groundwater levels in the network have been at or near historic high levels for the past several years. A recent review of the network using data up to the fall of 2011 found that 45 of the 70 wells reached record high water levels in 2010 and/or 2011. The levels in some of these wells have moderated somewhat, but remain high, while others increased to new high water levels in 2012. Only seven of the network wells are near historic low levels and of these, four are recovering from large scale groundwater withdrawals. Of the remaining three wells, Hearts Hill, Meadow Lake and Verlo have shown water level declines that cannot be directly attributed to groundwater withdrawals. Water levels in Hearts Hill and Meadow Lake have stabilized and experienced some recovery, while water levels in Verlo are low, but stabilized.
The map shows the well locations while their hydrographs and well records can be accessed from the following table.