More than 500 people attended CanWell 2002 sharing innovative ideas as the industry continues to evolve.

This year's CanWell convention and trade show was a major success - matching our industry people with each other, government officials and many visitors from outside of the country. More than 500 people attended the convention, which was held at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, June 13-15. Gathering information, renewing old acquaintances and having some good fun were all part of the agenda.

Hazel McCallion, the mayor of Mississauga, opened the convention. She praised the association for its hard work on promoting the concept of ground water and encouraged the association to work with her and other municipalities to promote its benefits. Together with CanWell chair John Ortt, Debora Wright and other members of the committee, McCallion cut the ribbon to open the convention. Ontario Ground Water Association (OGWA) president Terry Marquardt and his wife, Monica, and vice president Allan Wright and his wife, Debora, escorted the mayor around the trade show where she delighted the exhibitors and attendees with her knowledge and humor.

The trade show had 50 exhibitors, five drilling rigs and 69 display spaces. The large rigs of different ilk throughout the massive hall at the International Centre made a great sight. The exhibitors came from all over North America and from the Netherlands. CanWell had booths representing conventional concepts and innovative ideas, as the industry continues to evolve to meet the consumer's needs.

The convention also had booths from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Energy and from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. These booths not only outlined their role in the ground water process, but also illustrated the partnership developed to better promote the message of private wells and clean ground water.

The OGWA introduced the new posters that were developed by a committee, including Ken and Leanne Gelsthorpe and Brian Beatty. These 10 posters outline the 100 years of ground water in Ontario.

A pair of magicians were on the show floor on Thursday night. I do not know how they did those things but it made the show that much more fun!

Mark Laibe of Indianapolis-based Laibe Corp. catches up with Shirley and John Schmitt, visiting on behalf of the Michigan Ground Water Association.

Ground Water Symposium

Brian Beatty, Joanne Thompson and Leanne Gelsthorpe organized the Ground Water Symposium. This conference was well attended and had speakers presenting a variety of topics to the audience. The first session concentrated on the refocus of federal and provincial governments on ground water. This first session also examined the new opportunities and roles for government agencies in the ground water industry.

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Alfonso Rivera, a hydrogeologist, who is responsible for the development of a national ground water strategy in Canada. Dr. Rivera has forged partnerships with different federal departments, provinces, universities and the ground water industry. His plan is to focus ground water research in areas of common interest.

  • Dr. Meindert Booij, who is the coordinator of Long Term Agreements, a Dutch scheme that provides incentives to reduce the consumption of energy and to promote renewable energy in industry and services. He described how the Dutch incentive programs could serve as models to stimulate interest in ground water energy.

  • Dr. David Neufeld has seventeen years experience as a policy advisor to the Ontario government. As part of his current mandate to provide clean and sustainable supplies of ground water, Neufeld is working with many groups to develop acceptable standards for well construction, well records, water taking, source protection and community outreach. He also introduced the new ground water video, "Well Aware," that has been in the making for several months and has been developed by many of the key players in the industry. The video will be available from the OGWA in the near future.

      Management of ground water is becoming very important in these high usage times and the next three speakers examined this topic. Dr. Ken Howard from the University of Toronto, who also is vice president (North America) of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), is the chair of the IAH commission on ground water in urban areas. Dr. David Rudolph from the University of Waterloo followed with a presentation on his extensive research on ground water in rural watersheds and the management of ground water extraction from the high capacity municipal well fields. Finally, Dr. Roy Cullimore from Droycon Bioconcepts Inc. of Regina, Saskatchewan, discussed biofouling risks to wells and techniques to sustain the ground water supply. Dr. Cullimore has spent 30 years researching the effects of bacterial growth in water wells. He invented the BART Water test. His research has shown that biofouling of wells causes deteriorating well yields and quality.

      William Cosgrove of the World Water Council spoke about growth in Canadian communities that have no access to river or lake based supplies. The growth of these communities is controlled by the availability of ground water. Future growth will be largely tied to the development of sustainable ground water supplies.

      The final session of the informative ground water symposium dealt with ground water as a primary source of renewable energy for heating and cooling buildings. According to the panel discussion, as led by Dr. Dan McGillvray of CRESTech, the use of aquifers for off-season storage of thermal energy would further boost the performance of ground water energy systems.

      The folks from Gerrits Well Drilling Inc., Grand Valley, Ontario, proudly display their new Foremost DR-12 rig.

      More Activities

      Another useful part of the convention was a think tank organized by CRESTech. Dr. Dan McGillvray chaired the meeting and prominent people from the ground water industry discussed the proper roads to take to achieve sustainable ground water supplies.

      The night at Woodbine was attended by 150 people and was a great way for members of different parts of the industry to have fun and discuss the management of the industry. My horse did not win but it looked like some of our members are pretty darn good at picking a winner!

      On Saturday morning, sessions were hosted by Donald Hughes of North American Equipment Leasing and Franklin Electric. Hughes discussed the importance of organizations and Franklin Electric talked about installing large submersible pumps.

      The Pump Installers, Drillers and Ground Water Scientists held their annual meetings in the morning and were followed in the afternoon by the annual general meetings of the OGWA and the Canadian Ground Water association (CGWA). The OGWA meeting was well attended and for the first time in many years there was an election for the driller directors. At the CGWA's meeting, the new executive officer was announced as Wayne MacRae from Nova Scotia. Wayne replaces Maurice Lewis, who passed away several months ago, but who was remembered by the large crowd at the meeting. John Wilson, the long serving OGWA and CGWA director, was recognized upon his retirement from both boards. John's special skills will be missed. John was replaced on the CGWA board by OGWA president Terry Marquardt.

      Finally, the convention was capped by a banquet that featured the presentation of many awards and kudos given to the convention committee. The committee, as chaired by John Ortt, put in long hours getting ready for the convention. The dinner banquet and the following dance party amplified the tremendous success of CanWell 2002.