While the idea of posting anything more here on the topic of water makes my head spin, a summarized look forwards would seem appropriate at this time.
The following is an excerpt from this month’s Roberts Creek SCRD Director’s Newsletter :
Water provision will be discussed at length in the upcoming election. Sorting the facts from the opinions is one of the challenges for electors on any issue, and with this topic in particular, there are no shortage of opinions. In an effort to ensure that facts are accessible, I’ve collated links below to some SCRD resources that I have provided here in the past.
Want the short version looking forwards? In about 6 months, the 2018/22 SCRD Board should have a “menu” of Comprehensive Regional Water Plan Supply projects in front of them, including:
-the long-awaited results of BC Parks’ process to enable (or not) the Chapman Lake Project, and any attached conditions
-results from 4 exploratory Groundwater wells
-a Reservoir Feasibility Study (currently projected earliest completion 2026)
Combined with an updated water supply demand analysis (with a 2050 horizon), the above will provide factual information around the 3 proposed CRWP projects. Until those 3 pieces are known, much is speculation. Along with water volumes figures, financial, ecological impact, engineering, licensing, fire suppression, public health, staff health and safety, food growing, emergency resilience and other factors will need to be taken into consideration.
The Board will also need to make some Water Sourcing Policy decisions, (which water gets used when…see the Framework report below), along with the annual opportunity to amend the Drought Management Plan’s water restrictions accordingly.
Want more details? You can “jump into” the water here:
2 page summary of current Water Infrastructure projects:
Want to dive deeper?
An SCRD Power Point presentation that fills in some more gaps:
Wade into this one?
Water sourcing Policy Framework (Page 1 of this Agenda Package)
These measurement tools are a fundamental part of the water provision picture.
The defeat of the recent Alternate Approval Process with regards to Sechelt water meter financing was disappointing, and may result in further delay of projects or costs to the taxpayer. The current Board will have a funding options report in front of them shortly.
To present a choice between either supply projects or water meters is unnecessarily polarizing. There is no reason why they can’t be implemented simultaneously, and indeed they are. Of note is that the CRWP projected a $7million dollar taxpayer benefit over 25 years associated with the savings from meters, and senior government grant applications (say for supply projects) are enhanced by evidence of a robust demand management program.
It would be very difficult for a sitting Rural Area Director to vote to abandon the 3rd (Sechelt) phase of Coastal meter implementation. Roberts Creekers have already spent time, effort and in some cases significant private funds to stem leaks on their property and can take some credit for the associated 20-30% water savings to date.
While infrastructure delays, Climate Change and increased environmental (Chapman Creek) flow requirements have driven much of our current water situation, growth is clearly part of the picture. Water Plan anticipated a 2% annual growth rate on the coast, but in reality growth has averaged about half that.
Update September 23: Looking to understand what went on this past summer’s water supply and demand? This power point presentation from the September 20 Infrastructure Committee meeting has a summary of water levels, stages, sources and consumption, along with another review of the status of the 4 Water Plan Projects. http://www.scrd.ca/files/File/Infrastructure/Water/2018-Sept%2020%20ISC%20Water%20Supply%20Update%20Powerpoint%20Presentation_1.pdf
Lots of information to digest! No one said being an informed citizen was easy.
Can’t get enough of this topic? Keep reading below.