Even though there is awareness surrounding groundwater contamination in watersheds, it is a still a significant problem occurring across North America. The purpose of this study was to determine areas that pose significant risk to groundwater contamination, and propose green space implementation to reduce contamination potential within the Grand River Watershed.
The GIS-based DRASTIC model was able to determine the most vulnerable areas (see Figure 8 in Appendix B). The most vulnerable areas generally exist on agricultural land. Only the areas with the highest scores indicated by DRASTIC index were selected to identify a subset of the most vulnerable areas within the watershed to be used as a constraint in the MCE model (see Figure 8). This subset allowed this study to narrow down the search for suitable areas for green space conversion.
There were many areas in the Grand River Watershed that were vulnerable to groundwater contamination. As a result of this, there were many suitable areas for green space implementation in the watershed. Based on suitability score, there were three "best" sites identified in the Grand River Watershed as areas most vulnerable to groundwater contamination and most suitable for green space conversion. These sites were chosen based on predetermined parameters as outlined in the DRASTIC and MCE models. These models were the most suitable for satisfying the objectives in which were developed for reaching our goals for this research project.
Overall, the study was effective in determining both the most vulnerable areas to groundwater contamination as well as the areas most suitable for green space conversion. In order for our study to be of use, further field investigation would be needed. As well, a more in-depth analysis of green space logistics (such as size) would need to occur. Lastly, compensation to account for land acquisition for green space conversion should be considered.