I would like to provide clarification for the comments in the Peak last month [“Regional water supply system study recommendation to go to qathet regional board,” November 18].
The [qathet Regional District] board received a staff report in September, which recommended that West Hammil Lake and Deep Well be removed from the scope of the study to save money. The staff report used an excerpt from the 2009 Southern Region Water Study: “Hammil lake does not have the capacity for full build-out demands for Areas B and C.”
A number of individuals were interpreting this to mean Hammil Lake cannot provide water for this project. What the staff report did not include was that in the context of the 2009 Southern Region Water Study, the full build-out demands for [Electoral] Areas B and C is roughly 33,000 people. The 2009 study also stated: “The capacity of Haslam source is estimated to be limited to a population of approximately 30,000 to 35,000 people.”
Areas B and C in the 2016 census had a combined population of 3,600 people.
The 2009 study looked at various water sourcing options and used a number of different long-term population projections. The recommendation was that West Hammil Lake was the most cost-effective source of water for the residents of Area B and that it had ample supply.
The previous direction given by the board, in 2017, was to conduct another study to assess the feasibility of providing water from the City of Powell River limits to the south end of Centennial Drive along Highway 101. The study was to look at three water sources for this area. A request for proposal was issued and the lowest bid came in at almost three times the allocated budget.
The motion voted on last week was to remove West Lake and Deep Well from the scope of the new water study.
Opinions are varied and passionate but the feasibility of various water sources should be data driven.
Mark Gisborne, director
qathet Regional District Electoral Area B