On Thursday, February 16 the Infrastructure Services Committee will receive two reports in relation to the Chapman Lake Supply Expansion Project.
One is an Environmental Assessment Report from AECOM, the engineering firm overseeing the project. At the request of the Ministry, the Board approved $123, 425 for additional Environmental assessment as a follow-up to work done in 1999. The 180-page report includes an overview of Current Conditions, a Project Description, projected Effects and Mitigation Plans, and numerous Appendices, photos and schematics.
The report also includes an Environmental Flow Assessment of the lower reaches of Chapman Creek, as mandated by the new Water Sustainability Act. In it, FSCI Biological Consultants reiterated their 2015 findings that that the SCRD’s post-water intake streamflow target of 0.20 cubic meters per second “appears to provide abundant protection” and “substantial quality rearing habitat” for Chapman Creek salmon (Page 5 of EFA letter, Page 165 of Report). One area of concern is mentioned, directly upstream of the Hwy 101 Bridge, where the 1950 bridgeworks have resulted in seasonally shifting shallows. This will require monitoring and possibly mitigation.
The reports have been submitted to BC Parks and the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, as well as being referred to the shishálh and Skwxwu7mesh First Nations, and the Board is awaiting their comments.
The Report, can be found in 2 parts towards the bottom of this page, along with an accompanying staff report: www.scrd.ca/chapman-lake-supply-expansion This SCRD page is a good one to bookmark if you want to keep track of the project.
Note that 5 or 6 blog posts further down this page I lay out my reasons for supporting this project in the context of a conservation-based approach to water management on the coast.