1. Introduction

In 2012, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) initiated the Water Budget project to better understand the sustainable availability of water.

The project consists of two phases: Phase 1, which includes development of hydrogeological conceptual models and water budgets, and Phase 2, which will include a more detailed analysis based on the results obtained in Phase 1.

island_map2This report presents results of Phase 1 for the six water regions within the Regional District of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Phase 1 seeks to improve the understanding of regional water resources and in particular, provide better descriptions of the water cycle, available water quantity, the flow system and water demand, and factors affecting sustainability.


The specific objectives of the Phase 1 project are:

  • To update and review more than 750 reports describing existing hydrogeological information and to link all available information within one updated conceptual model to assess the water movement and exchange between various watershed elements including rivers/creeks, lakes, and groundwater aquifers.
  • To develop a water budget as a first step in understanding current groundwater and surface water utilization, as well as sustainable extraction.
  • To assess “stress” on groundwater aquifers and watersheds by comparing water availability with water use.
  • To identify data gaps and additional areas of study.

Report Organization

The main report provides an overview of the hydrogeology of the RDN’s 6 water regions on Vancouver Island, water budget methods and results.

island_report_coverOn this website, the report is organized into 5 sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Hydrogeological Conceptual Model
  3. Water Budget, by water region
  4. Data Gaps
  5. Recommendations & Conclusions

In addition to this report, the Agriculture Water Demand Model helps us better understand the amount of water required for agriculture throughout the region.

Detailed technical graphs and maps are included in the Appendices and links – see PDF downloads marked .

Tips for non-technical readers:

  • Improve your understanding with Water 101
  • Move your mouse over coloured words for definitions and links to more info
  • Consult the Glossary

Go on to 2. Hydrogeological Conceptual Model

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