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Science for informed decision: A 3D unified conceptual model of the Milk River Transboundary Aquifer (Alberta-Montana).

Pétré, Marie-Amélie; Rivera, Alfonso (2013). Science for informed decision: A 3D unified conceptual model of the Milk River Transboundary Aquifer (Alberta-Montana). In: AGU Fall Meeting 2013, 9-13 décembre 2013, San Francisco, États-Unis.

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Résumé

The Milk River transboundary aquifer straddles southern Alberta (Canada) and northern Montana (United States), in a semi-arid region considered water short. This confined sandstone aquifer is a source for municipal supply and agricultural uses on the Canadian side, as well as for secondary oil recovery on the US-side of the border. The extensive use of this resource since the mid 1950’s has led to a dramatic drop in the water level in some places and concerns about the durability of the resource have risen. The Milk River aquifer has been the object of many studies during the 20th century; however most of them were limited by the US\Canada border, preventing a sound understanding of the global dynamics of the aquifer. The objectives of this transboundary study are to better understand the dynamics of the Milk River aquifer, following its natural limits, in order to make recommendations for a sustainable management and its good governance by the two international jurisdictions, as recommended in the UNGA resolution 63/124 on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers. Since 2009, the Milk River transboundary aquifer is part of the inventory of UNESCO ISARM-Americas initiative, which encourages riparian states to work cooperatively toward mutually beneficial and sustainable aquifer development However, the use of this shared resource is not ruled by any international agreement or convention between the USA and the Canada. Stakeholders from the two countries have been involved, at various levels of jurisdictions (municipal, provincial, state, federal) to establish a strong cooperation. In these contexts, models can constitute useful tools for informed decisions. In the case of the Milk River aquifer, models could support scientists and managers from both countries in avoiding potential tensions linked to the water shortage context in this region. Models can determine the conditions of overexploitation and provide an assessment of a sustainable yield. A unified conceptual model of the Milk River Aquifer has been built. This model follows the natural limits of the aquifer and is not interrupted by the US\Canada border. The conceptual model covers many aspects such as the hydrostratigraphic 3D model, the groundwater flow, the recharge and discharge areas, the hydrogeological parameters, the pumping and observation wells, and the transboundary aspects. This model covers circa 55 000 km2. The study area is limited to the North/Northeast and Southeast by gas fields. This unified conceptual model will form the basis for a future 3D numerical hydrogeological model of groundwater flow in the Milk River Aquifer across the Canada-US border.

Type de document: Document issu d'une conférence ou d'un atelier
Mots-clés libres: groundwater; hydrology
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 08 mai 2018 18:23
Dernière modification: 08 mai 2018 18:23
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/3734

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