Questions remain about water supply

Issues related to a water-supply agreement with Nanoose Bay are raised at the most recent Parksville city council meeting

The renewal of a water supply agreement with Nanoose Bay brought up some issues at Parksville council’s May 6 regular meeting.

The city entered into an agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo in 2008 to convey bulk water from the city’s Englishman River intake during the dry summer months.

With the agreement expiring at the end of April, RDN staff asked that the new agreement increase the supply 33 per cent to a maximum 2,619 cubic metres (576,000 gallons) per day.

The staff report said it would not be appropriate to commit to the increase until a hydraulic analysis of demand that is underway is completed and recommends against the increase.

Water service program manager Mike Squire explained the RDN already has rights to the water as a partner in the Arrowsmith Water Service but the city charges for the operational and infrastructure costs of providing it to the Nanoose Bay area water mains.

Squire couldn’t answer council questions about the RDN’s request for the increase in water supplied but pointed out Nanoose Bay is a partner in the Englishman River Water Service project in the early stages of planning a new river intake and treatment facility.

Councillor Marc Lefebvre, an RDN director, said he would look into the RDN request.

Squire assured council there are provisions in the agreement that allow the city to stop the supply in an emergency such as the collapse of a clay bank last year that made the river water unusable.