This presentation explores the importance of initial groundwater conceptualizations to evaluate environmental risks, which in turn inform the level or complexity of the subsequent intrusive groundwater assessments required for permit applications. Three practical examples are discussed where inadequate groundwater conceptualization resulted in questionable, inaccurate or incomplete groundwater assessments. These shortcomings delayed or prolonged the permitting review, increased uncertainty in decision making, and decreased the social license from First Nations and stakeholders.
Rusto Martinka is a hydrogeologist at the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. His work focuses on reviewing groundwater aspects in permit application seeking authorizations under the Mines, Environmental Assessment and Environmental Management Acts. Prior to his current position of the last seven years, Rusto spent a decade groundwater consulting on projects in the natural resource sector.