Qualicum Beach councillor talks about selling town’s water to Parksville

While Parksville remains at Level 4 water restrictions, 'We have water, we have lots of water' says Coun. Bill Luchtmeier

While Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek said he is wary of regional water management discussion, Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer suggested a different perspective.

“Maybe we should be thinking a little bit out of the box, that may be a massive opportunity for us,” Luchtmeijer said, referencing Coun. Barry Avis’ remarks about Parksville having both “massive” water problems and “massive” development plans.

“We have water, we have lots of water. It might be an opportunity to sell bulk water to Parksville,” he said, throwing it out for general consideration.

“Someone else is having a problem, we might be able to help them along, at the same time generate some revenue to cover our costs.”

“It’s not necessarily our water but it is our extraction system and delivery system, so let’s think opportunity here,” Luchtmeijer said.

“We haven’t had that discussion yet,” Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Sailland later told The NEWS, suggesting if council wanted to pursue it, it would be the start of a longterm discussion and process.

He said “water is obviously a hot topic,” that will continue to come up in various contexts.

The town does have the ability to pump and measure large amounts of water into trucks for things like fire fighting, Sailland said, but he wasn’t sure if there are currently sufficient connections to pipe water to Parksville.

Luchtmeijer’s suggestion was in reference to Westbroek expanding on comments he made at a Regional District of Nanaimo meeting (Seeking Solutions, The NEWS, Sept. 10).

The RDN board had been discussing the possibility of developing a regional water governance model. In 2011, Qualicum Beach opted not to join the Englishman River Water Service, formed to build a new river water intake and treatment plant in Parksville, citing the strength of their existing water supply.

RDN CAO Paul Thorkelsson previously said there have been calls from the community for “an approach to governance that recognizes those boundaries that exist for municipalities don’t make any sense, we’re in this together, it’s a bigger issue than boundaries.”

“I’m kind of leery about turning over our control over our water supply,” Westbroek said at last week’s town council meeting. “Whether it’s communicating restrictions, or pricing, or managing our water sources. I think Qualicum Beach — our staff — does a tremendous job. I think a lot of cities could learn from us, we’ve planned our supply well, we’ve bought our recharge areas… and I think we need the water supply for our future growth, which will happen eventually, and also to provide water for our own food production.”

“I was speaking against the idea that we would be part of a governance set up between the (RDN) and other municipalities in our area.”

While the RDN board will continue to discuss the possibility of a regional approach to water management, Qualicum Beach council didn’t table any motions or ask for any specific follow-up from staff.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach to ban all open burning

Prohibition takes effect at noon, Wednesday

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Qualicum Beach play wins 4 awards at BC festival

Collected Stories wins include Best Actress for Beth DeVolder

Bow Horn, Dashwood fire protection areas to be expanded

Two volunteer fire departments in the Regional District of Nanaimo electoral areas… Continue reading

Award-winning Qualicum Beach choir performs for Lt.-Gov

The Gardens Choir gets visit after winning Lt.-Gov contest for second year

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read