I recently attended a meeting in Parksville regarding present and future water issues for the city.
The current proposal, responding to Parksville’s domestic water supply is focussed on aquifer recharge plus a very costly treatment system. Some of the root causes of the problems are not addressed in this proposal.
We are told that the turbidity in the Englishman River, during the high runoff period is the primary reason that the river supply source is restricted, thus necessitating reverting to the ground water supply source.
Recharge is a very costly systems approach.
In my opinion, the solution lies in responding to the real issue, the management of the watershed and specifically the practices that contribute to river pollution. By intervening in the approach currently used in logging practices, which contribute to the high siltation, some of this problem could be alleviated.
We cannot change the gradient of the river, nor the geology, but we can change the logging operations by acting responsibly.
The logging prescription can be as simple as increasing the buffer zones along the river and its tributaries, controlling the size of clear cuts, and the proper location of bridges and culverts to minimize channeling of silt into the waterway.
It’s not rocket science, just good logging practices.
This approach is used elsewhere in Canada, why not here?
Water quality should be managed at its source, not solely by expensive treatment and maintenance systems.