The City of Chilliwack is marking World Water Day with a quiz on March 22, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The City of Chilliwack is marking World Water Day with a quiz on March 22, 2022. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Marking of World Water Day in Chilliwack features quiz on groundwater

Campaign features tagline ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ for World Water Day on March 22

The City of Chilliwack is asking residents to think about protection of the Sardis-Vedder aquifer in honour of World Water Day.

“Groundwater may be out of sight, under our feet, but its impact is visible everywhere,” according to the city news release. “For World Water Day on March 22, the City of Chilliwack wants to make the invisible visible by raising awareness about our aquifers.”

For Ian Stephen, program director of the WaterWealth Project, marking World Water Day is also about the importance of groundwater protection, especially in light of the Trans Mountain pipeline work that is set to start locally.

“Groundwater flows are an important part of the balance of temperature and oxygen for eggs that salmon and other fish lay in gravel beneath streams,” Stephen said. “That is partly why WaterWealth is trying to have Trans Mountain’s now imminent drilling under Vedder River done in summer instead, when the risk to fish is at its least.”

He noted that a Trans Mountain geotechnical report warned about the potential for drilling vibrations to actually cause the pipe to collapse, opening the groundwater to the river or adjacent streams.

“Particularly while fish eggs are present, we don’t want the invisible that visible,” Stephen added.

The City of Chilliwack’s drinking water comes from the Sardis-Vedder aquifer, which functions as a natural reservoir underground.

“When we hear the term ‘water conservation’ many of us think first of summer watering restrictions, but it’s so much more than that,” Mayor Ken Popove said in the release. “There are a number of steps we can all take year-round to preserve and protect our drinking water. Learning about where our water comes from and how we affect the supply of this finite resource is a great place to start.”

Groundwater feeds streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands, and it is recharged by rivers, rain and snow. Water conservation is crucial since “drawing too much groundwater from our aquifer damages ecosystems in wetlands and rivers,” and could impact drinking water.

The city’s awareness campaign features a groundwater quiz at as well as a colouring page for kids. There are suggestions to increase water conservation. Folks who take the quiz by April 30 can enter a draw to win prizes like a water conservation kit, or recreation centre passes.

Hard copies of the quiz are available at City Hall (8550 Young Road) during business hours.

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