Consider the following when evaluating the City of Parksville and ERWS water intake and filtration plant proposal’s assent vote required to borrow $5.6 Million.
• The ERWS proposal does not include any provision for additional water storage or reserve, greater than just experienced this past year of drought.
• Some concerned citizens have proposed an alternative solution, of construction of reservoir/storage areas in the highlands of the Mount Arrowsmith watershed. These would be filled with “excess” precipitation storm water diverted from the Englishman River during winter.
• A PVC pipeline would be constructed directly to the filtration plant. Victoria (CRD) water supplies potable water to over a quarter million residents by this method.
• The installation of hydro electric turbines in the pipeline will harness the gravity flow of the waterline, providing a green alternative for power generation. The gravity pressure produced by the pipeline directly to the filtration plant reduces the energy required for the operation of the filtration process, such as the new Nanaimo filtration plant operated with gravity-fed water to reduce their energy costs. The proposal by ERWS for a filtration plant should be scrapped and redesigned with a gravity fed input.
• Our proposal should not be a detriment to our neighbours. Parksville was not the only area severely affected by a water shortage. This plan should be considered as a regional water plan for those jurisdictions on the downward slope of the Mount Arrowsmith watershed including Parksville, Nanoose/Fairwinds, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Coombs, French Creek and Qualicum. The costs would be shared and the economies of scale would be of mutual benefit. The potential for effective, adequate emergency water for fire-fighting or disaster relief is enormous.
• The new proposed regional water board would include all stakeholders, and citizens from the community, similar to Victoria which is effective, transparent, accountable and open to community input.
• The $28 million project proposed by the ERWS is a lot of money, and does not include any estimates for the enormous operating costs of the filtration plant using the intake from the Englishman River.