Water resource solutions for challenging landscapes in a changing climate
BGC helps our clients understand how water impacts their projects and infrastructure by using our specialized knowledge of hydrology, hydraulics, and geomorphology. We integrate our water resources expertise with our comprehensive range of engineering and applied geoscience services to provide services for a variety of industries including mining, oil sands, pipelines, transportation, and the public sector.
BGC provides comprehensive design, construction support, and monitoring services specific to water-related issues that have the potential to impact infrastructure. We lead challenging multi-disciplinary hydrotechnical projects from concept to detailed design, construction, and monitoring related to water management infrastructure (e.g., channel designs and spillways for mine operations and closure), transportation structures (e.g., bridges) and pipeline watercourse crossings impacted by natural hazards (e.g., scour, bank erosion, avulsion).
BGC merges our foundation in geoscience and hydrotechnical engineering with scalable numerical modelling techniques to support project needs. These needs include projections of future impacts of climate change, closure drainage planning, reservoir sediment modelling, snowmelt modelling, landslide wave modelling, and river hydraulics that includes, where warranted, the use of advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. For complex problems, we use detailed scalable CFD models to investigate hydraulics (flow, velocity) in three dimensions (3D) and visualize the modelled environment.
Effective water management is a key component of successful engineering and geoscience projects. In all our service areas, we have the expertise to assist clients with issues related to water sourcing, handling, recycling, and disposal, as well as water resource protection. Our advanced water management services include:
- Water balance assessments through the project life cycle
- Surface water management planning
- Surface water management designs and construction (e.g. diversions, retention ponds)
Water balance models are critical in guiding the development of a water management plan for mine sites. BGC has developed numerous water balance models for both operational and proposed mines using simplified to complex approaches and scenarios.
BGC has experience collecting and analyzing local and regional climatic and hydrologic data to develop baseline climate and hydrology characterization to support hydrologic and hydraulic modelling and design. Water resources solutions need to take into consideration that global and regional climates are changing on time scales pertinent to engineered structures. We integrate the effects of climate change in our estimates of temperature, precipitation, and runoff and then apply these to assessments and mitigation designs to understand the potential impacts of climate change on our projects.
BGC applies our expert knowledge of geomorphic processes to conduct geohazard assessments for linear infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, transportation, and railways) over a range of spatial scales. Detailed analyses incorporate geomorphic characterization, historical channel degradation assessments, scour and bed mobility analyses, bank erosion assessments using historical air photographs/earth observation products, and algorithms for bank erosion and avulsion estimation.
Dam safety and dam breach analyses form an important component of hazard and risk assessments and emergency response and preparedness planning (ERPP). BGC’s dam safety expertise includes the development of inflow design floods (IDF), probable maximum precipitation (PMP), and probable maximum flood (PMF) estimates, spillway design, and wave runup and freeboard analyses. Dam breach analyses conducted by BGC include landslide, water supply, and tailings dams. Our dam breach expertise is internationally recognized and led by subject matter experts who have completed dam breach assessments across the globe.