Guelph, Ontario, relies on groundwater to supply drinking water for the population of nearly 132,000 people.
The city is located about 100 km west of downtown Toronto. Its population has increased by 8.3% between
2011 and 2016.
Guelph is located in the “Guelph Drumlin Field” formed during glaciation (a land form similar to that of the
Oak Ridges Moraine). The drumlins are well drained areas of sandy silt till and the esker is comprised of welldrained sand and gravel. Both allow for shallow groundwater recharge and pumping for drinking water.
Groundwater for drinking water is also pumped from underlying bedrock of the Guelph-Amabel formation.
To supplement these naturally occurring groundwater sources, Guelph has developed an engineered system
in which the city artificially recharges the shallow Arkell Spring Grounds using water from the nearby
Eramosa River. The city then draws shallow groundwater from the Arkell Spring Grounds.
Several debates and concerns have been raised about the sufficiency of the future drinking water supply
coming from groundwater, to meet the needs of the population of Guelph. These concerns include future land
development that could impeded groundwater recharge and water-taking for the purpose of producing
What considerations need to guide the provision of sufficient, clean drinking water for Guelph into the future?
Your task is to develop components of a groundwater management plan.
- How and where does Guelph obtain its drinking water? Use three sentences to describe the source(s) of
Guelph’s drinking water supply. You need to cite at least one reference in your explanation.
- Identify two major competing uses for groundwater water originating from the aquifers now supplying the
Guelph population. Cite at least one reference to substantiate the information you obtained for each competing
- Identify two solutions intended to maintain a continued supply of sufficient, clean drinking water for the
Guelph area for now and into the future (say 2050, which is within you lifetime!). You could identify one
supply-side solution and one demand-side solution. Your solutions need to be realistic and feasible. They can
originate from other locations that obtain groundwater or that experience water scarcity. Summarize each
solution in three sentences that include one reference each.