In planning the development of the water supply for the Town of Edson it might be advisable to think first of the immediate problem and then of the long-term or possible future problems. The immediate problem is to ensure the supply of water is always sufficient to allow for the normal amenities. The long-term problem is to ensure that the town will not lose an opportunity for development because of an inadequate water supply.
It is fairly obvious that the flow of the McLeod River is large enough so that almost any need for water can be met and the water available for use at any time will depend only on the capacities of plant installations. It is not quite as obvious but the supply of groundwater is also so large that almost any amount can be obtained if the reservoir is developed over a wide enough area. The only problem facing Edson is to determine which source will provide the town with the cheapest water. Generally speaking the unit cost of water from a surface source decreases with increased consumption, while the unit cost of water from wells increases with increased consumption, at least where well spacing is a factor.
This report presents the results of a preliminary investigation into the groundwater prospects in the immediate vicinity of the town. Geology is the factor that determines the availability of groundwater and a short description of the local geology is given below. The mimeographed paper, Groundwater Supply in Alberta that is enclosed will explain some of the features that are significant. As mentioned in this paper, deposits of the area may be divided into two types, the bedrock strata and the overlying surficial deposits of glacial drift with a minor amount of Recent alluvium in the river valleys.
Farvolden, R.N. (1959): Edson report 53-17-W5; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Open File Report 1959-03, 11 p.