Municipal Affairs and Environment

GIS Data - Public Water Supplies

The Department of Environment, Water Resources Management Division maintains a list of Public Water Supplies in the Province and also a GIS layer depicting the geographic boundaries of these supplies. Downloadable files with this GIS data are shown below and are automatically updated on a daily basis. The supplies are indexed using a unique Water Supply number (e.g. WS-S-0000) that links the supplies to other databases in the Division. A supply can be either Surfacewater (SW) or Groundwater (GW) based and are further broken down into the following four categories:

  • Protected - these are supplies protected under Sections 39(1) or 61(1) of The Water Resources Act, SNL 2002 cW-4.01. The protection of these supplies is approved by various agencies through the Inter-Departmental Land Use Committee (ILUC) and published in the Newfoundland Gazette. Under the Act the Department may restrict activities in the protected area that have an adverse affect on water quality. The legal boundary of a Surfacewater protected supply is usually depicted by straight lines and the GIS layer may also show areas of natural drainage to the supply that are outside the protected legal boundary. The legal boundary of a Groundwater protected supply can be either a circle centered on the wellhead or a polygon which has been delineated by a hydrogeological study.
  • Unprotected - these supplies are used as a public water supply source but have not been declared as protected under the Act. The boundary of these supplies is typically the entire natural drainage of the supply.
  • Potential - these supplies are not actively being used as public water supplies but may be used as such in the future. The boundary of these supplies is typically the entire natural drainage of the supply.
  • ILUC - these are supplies that are currently moving through the ILUC process described above with the goal of protection under Sections 39(1) or 61(1) of The Water Resources Act, SNL 2002 cW-4.01. This is a "red-line" layer that is subject to change and provided as a convenience to approving agencies for the purpose of review.

    Public Water Supply Areas - Zip file - ESRI SHAPE file format with Intakes, wellheads, boundaries - WGS84 Geographic Coordinate System - UPDATED DAILY Winzip

The boundaries for Surfacewater supplies are delineated by Watershed Management Specialists (WMS) using 1:50,000 National Topographic Database (NTDB) paper maps. Sometimes, the boundaries being drawn cover larger areas and 1:250,000 NTDB paper maps are used instead. Additionally, a single supply may have the legal boundary delineated using a 1:50,000 map and the larger natural drainage area outside the legal boundary delineated using a 1:250,000 map. The WMS draws the boundary based on the visual interpretation of the contours shown on the map. In the case of legal boundaries, which are typically a series of straight-line segments, a written range/bearing description is also created using a ruler and protractor on the paper map. This written range/bearing description is published in the Newfoundland Gazette when the protected supply is approved.

The boundaries for Groundwater supplies are delineated by a Groundwater Management Specialist (GMS) using 1:50,000 National Topographic Database (NTDB) paper maps. For Groundwater supplies serving a population of less than 8,000 people a circle is drawn, centered on the wellhead, with a radius between 100 and 800 metres based on the pumping rate of the well. Towns with a population greater than 8,000 are required to have a hydrogeological study done to accurately delineate the wellhead protected area. Larger wellhead protected areas are often broken into a series of zones which have different levels of protection. A written description of the wellhead protected area is published in the Newfoundland Gazette when the protected supply is approved.

The boundaries are then digitized from boundaries drawn on NTDB paper topographic maps into this GIS layer. The boundaries and other features are believed to be accurate but due to various factors the Department cannot give an exact level of spatial accuracy or resolution. In case of any land use dispute or legal issues the Department recommends a site specific survey by a professional surveyor. Users should contact the Department of Environment, Water Resources Management Division if an exact boundary location is required.

While the Department has made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this GIS data layer the official record remains the files maintained by the Department including the material published in the Newfoundland Gazette.

The Public Water Supplies GIS layer uses feature codes, which are described in the document "Feature Codes - Public Water Supplies" PDF (247 KB).

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