BCCF floats water study in Parksville

BC Conservation Foundation wants to look at the impact of development

The BC Conservation Foundation wants to conduct a pilot study on the impact of development on surface and groundwater in Parksville.

The three month study, funded by Natural Resources Canada, would be one of three on Vancouver Island meant to help understand the impact of climate change and different development scenarios, specifically around the Englishman River, explained a delegation at Parksville city council Monday.

The BCCF’s Craig Wightman explained the study would provide “value-added” content to the city’s ongoing official community plan (OCP) review, help with future land use decisions and add to the understanding of the water supply.

Expanding on work done by groups like the Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society and Living Rivers Trust, the Ministry of Environment, city and regional district, the study would be led by engineers Kim Stephens from Bowen Island and local Gilles Wendling.

It would look at a specific study area within the city but also review the big picture context of the entire watershed and region, Wightman said.

It would look at how land use impacts the water cycle and specifically how water enters and moves through the ground, adding to the local knowledge and informing the Island-wide study.

The only cost to the city would be the staff time involved in co-operating and providing information.

Wightman said DL129 in the industrial park, beside land recently purchased for a water treatment facility, would be ideal.

Staff will review the request and come back to city council as soon as possible in February.