Water issue needs debate

The issue is complex and deserves examination

The Arrowsmith Water Service board recently accepted a consultant’s report, that outlined the building of a new intake and water treatment plant on the Englishman River. 

The presentation made by consultants from Burnaby, invites many questions and appears to resolve a relatively small part of the complex challenge.  

It looks as if that the total estimated cost of $52 million dollars, will only provide a limited proportion of the future drinking water needs for a growing population.

 The consultants stated that by 2050, about 50 per cent of the overall annual water supply for the AWS system will come from the Englishman River, and that existing groundwater wells will continue to be operated and any increased usage will be managed to not exceed sustainable aquifer yield. 

What they didn’t mention was that existing well field and groundwater catchment area, that provides the other 50 per cent is already under severe stress, both for water quantity and quality. The water level in an observation well in the proximity of the wells is declining rapidly, and groundwater levels have dropped nine meters (almost 30 feet) in the past 30 years.

Considering projections for future growth, existing water problems in the area, and anticipated climate changes; the future drinking water supply solutions should be developed in consultation with the people, not from the ‘top down’. 

It is time that the residents from the entire Oceanside area form an independent drinking water management advisory board, to help provide a consumer based perspective on the entire regional water supply issue. 

Trevor Wicks     

Qualicum Beach

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Old Schoolhouse Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach to re-open on Aug. 11

Hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

EDITORIAL: Real communication can solve problems

Neighbourhood dispute in Columbia Beach made headlines

COVID-19: SD69 working on how to organize schools for planned fall re-opening

Qualicum School District required to have plan to ministry by Aug. 26

RDN Transit requiring masks for most come end of month

Masks, hand sanitizer to be handed out in Regional District of Nanaimo mask policy campaign

Major injuries averted after three-vehicle crash in Nanoose Bay

Poor road conditions believed a factor in early-morning mishap

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Most Read