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Ontario Geological Survey response to the 2015 groundwater geoscience knowledge GAP analysis

In March 2015, the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) and Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) hosted a Groundwater Geoscience Knowledge GAP Analysis session for southern Ontario clients. The session objectives were to solicit input at the planning phase of several large OGS/GSC collaborative
mapping initiatives, and to discuss the future of provincial government data management and the potential for accessing data via an "open data" initiative. Session participants identified 30 individual groundwater geoscience knowledge gaps, which fall into 7 categories comprising: i) communications,
ii) standards and protocols, iii) hydro and geochemistry, iv) surface and groundwater interaction, v) geology and hydrogeology, vi) climate change and vii) data management and dissemination. In the past year, the OGS has taken significant steps to address many of the knowledge gaps that were brought
forward at the March 2015 session.
Communication issues represented the first, and most prominent, category of identified gaps. Session participants agreed that better communication between government ministries and agencies, that hold various land resource and science based mandates, would break down barriers between disciplines and
create opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaboration. To address communication issues, the OGS has taken several positive steps to engage with partner land-based ministries. Some highlights of the activities emerging from these new connections include; the OGS providing geoscience mapping
products and offering expertise to MOECC Land and Water Policy Branch as they evaluate land-use planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region; the development of a new OGS project, in collaboration with MOECC, to map shallow karst using geochemical indicators of rapid recharge; opening
communication and information sharing to discuss the inclusion of OGS continuously cored boreholes with monitors into the MOECC Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network; the creation of a working group to write a White Paper supporting a modern provincial government data strategy; and providing
groundwater hydrochemistry mapping and expertise to support policy development for homeowner and public health unit notification when domestic well sampling results exceed drinking water guidelines from natural/geological sources. Each of the new projects and collaborations represents an improvement
to inter-government communication. This list also demonstrates the OGS's commitment to create geoscience mapping products that meet the needs of clients, including those making science based policy decisions regarding groundwater.
The OGS will continue to engage with clients and stakeholders as we continue our groundwater mapping initiative in southern Ontario in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Canada.

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The Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Research Inventory is an
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