Skip to content

LETTER: CRD water plan essential despite criticism


Re: CRD water project under fire for cost, ‘flawed’ process (News, Dec. 6)

Black Press reports Colwood councillor Ian Ward finds the CRD Regional Water Service 2022 Master Plan flawed because only 22 area residents commented on the plan.

I also assume most water users take their water supply for granted. The professionals managing the regional water system do not take the supply for granted. They plan and build for the future.

The 2022 master plan builds on earlier planning. Most projects mentioned in the news report have been on the books for years. Politicians cry about the cost of public services. Good government ensures users pay for services at a reasonable rate.

I trust the CRD government on the regional water supply file. The government includes civil servants who are experts in their fields and whose reputations are built on results, not “public consultation.”

The population growth projections were not pulled out of a hat: there are high, medium, and low estimates. Ward argues that a decline in water use over the years means less must be done to ensure the supply.

The decrease reflects CRD public engagement and planning. Further reduction in average household usage is needed to match the increase in households using the supply. It is not linear, and there is no guaranteed future: it is a prediction.

The 2022 master plan clearly states that future water supply is based on past precipitation records. The effect of climate change could not be predicted. The plan is to build as much resilience and redundancy into the system as possible.

The water filtration project Ward objects to has three drivers. When the Leech River Watershed is tapped, the water quality will change. If there are fires or landslides, the water quality will vary. If the provincial or federal regulations change to require filtration, the CRD will have to comply. The plan notes that comparable water systems that serve the Seattle area and Greater Vancouver are moving to water filtration systems.

People can afford whatever it costs for a clean, secure water supply. We cannot afford sudden emergencies in our regional water supply.

Heather Phillips