Groundwater Availability

Groundwater is an important source of water for private wells, public water supplies, agricultural supplies, industrial supplies and commercial supplies throughout the province.

Groundwater Use and Availability in Nova Scotia

Statistical analysis of Nova Scotia's groundwater regions shows that the most favourable groundwater regions for groundwater supply development include the glaciofluvial/alluvial surficial groundwater region and the sedimentary bedrock groundwater region.

Groundwater budgets, which compare groundwater recharge to groundwater use, are often used to indicate the sustainability of groundwater usage patterns. Preliminary regional groundwater budgets have been estimated for 44 of Nova Scotia's major groundwatersheds. The groundwatershed boundaries were assumed to correspond to primary surface watershed boundaries . Groundwater recharge for each of the watersheds was calculated by estimating the percentage of precipitation that infiltrates into the ground each year, and converting infiltration to an annual recharge rate based on the watershed size.

Groundwater use in each of the watersheds was calculated by combining municipal groundwater use figures with estimates of water use by private well owners and other types of groundwater users (e.g. commercial, public, industrial) in each of the watersheds. Click here for more information on the approach used to generate the groundwater budgets.

A preliminary map of groundwater use as a percentage of availability (annual recharge) was produced.

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This interactive map contains information on groundwater resources.