Managing the supply of safe drinking water is one of the most important services a municipality offers to its citizens. Much of the City of Guelph’s drinking water originates from underground aquifers and it is one of the largest Canadian cities to source drinking water primarily from groundwater. These aquifers represent an abundant but finite resource and with continued population and commerce/industrial growth, the City places a very high importance on managing drinking water supplies for long-term reliability through a comprehensive source water protection program.
Matrix Solutions has worked with the City’s Water Services Department since 2006, completing much of the technical work in support of the source protection program. This year, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) presented the City with an award for Exemplary Source Water Protection – Medium System.
Matrix Solutions has conducted many of the scientific and technical components that allowed the City to create and maintain their source water protection program. Our work has included the development of complex groundwater flow models, which are used to map out the vulnerability of the aquifers to potential water quality and quantity problems. Our work informs the City’s planning decisions, so they can implement programs and policies to manage risks. The City’s award-winning water conservation and efficiency strategy is an example of one of their water management programs.
“Technically this work is really fascinating, because it’s complex and we are given the opportunity to complete our work thoroughly with lots of interaction from the client and other stakeholders,” said Dave Van Vliet, Vice President of Technical Practice Areas at Matrix. “It’s satisfying to see our work move through the process of technical studies into public consultation and then into the development of public policy.”
Making an impact
Overall, our services help municipalities make informed decisions and balance the interests of the public, stakeholders, and businesses when it comes to protecting safe drinking water. Matrix is recognized as one of the leaders in Ontario for technical work in support of source water protection programs; and we were advisor to the Ontario government for the development of the technical guidelines used to complete all source water protection programs in the province.
“Our people are really proud of the work we do to contribute to safe drinking water in the communities we live and work in,” Dave said.