News

City of Parksville offers new way to gather input on water system

City of Parksville residents now have another way to provide input with the launch of the Englishman River Water Service (ERWS) page on PlaceSpeak.

PlaceSpeak is an online platform where residents and business owners can find information, register to receive updates, discuss issues, complete a survey and share ideas about the ERWS project, according to a news release issued by the city last week.

The ERWS is a joint venture between the City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo, related to the funding and provision of bulk water services. ERWS is developing a project to sustain a healthy river system and meet the future water needs of the City and the RDN (Nanoose), according to the release. Components include:

• New river water supply intake located and designed to protect aquatic habitat.

• New water treatment plant and distribution system to meet Island Health's drinking water quality standards.

• Proposed aquifer storage and recovery system to balance seasonal water supply and demand and reduce river water extraction in the summer, through use of a storage aquifer.

• Phased design and construction to meet local needs and to achieve affordability.

ERWS is engaging the public in this project in several ways. A community working group, made up of representatives of the Parksville and Nanoose communities, is advising the project team on items of concern as well as options and issues to be addressed during the design process. The city and the RDN say they would like to hear the public's thoughts and priorities regarding this project. To help gather input, the city has set up a forum on PlaceSpeak ­— a location-based online consultation platform which ensures feedback is from people directly affected by the project.

"PlaceSpeak has been successfully used for public consultation by many communities throughout British Columbia and we hope this will bring greater participation in our community for such an important project," said Parksville Mayor Chris Burger. "PlaceSpeak is yet another tool in our consultation toolbox. As well, we will host a public open house in May."

To find PlaceSpeak, start at the city's website, www.parksville.ca, and click on the PlaceSpeak icon.

On PlaceSpeak, there's a survey for residents. The city said the purpose of the survey is to gather feedback so community views can be taken into account when decisions are made on how to proceed with this project. The survey will remain open until April 13. A hard copy of the survey is available from city hall or by calling 250-954-3073.

— NEWS Staff/City of Parksville

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