The source assessment response plan (SARP) was adopted by the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) July 12, but board chair Garry Nohr said more work will be needed to protect the community’s water source.
“The regional district’s major concern, and where we figure we’re at risk, is we don’t manage the watershed,” Nohr said.
Adoption of the SARP last Thursday was subject to a handful of amendments that were expected to make their way to the September infrastructure services committee for confirmation.
Included among those amendments was an expression of the SCRD’s concern that a lack of control over the community water source represented a liability, Nohr said.
“Of course the industrial companies weren’t too keen about that being the main focus,” he said. “But it’s in the preamble.”
A variety of threats to the Chapman were identified in a 2006 water source assessment.
In 2010, the SCRD received an order from Vancouver Coastal Health drinking water officer Tim Adams to develop a threat response framework for the Chapman.
The SARP details both natural and human-related threats to the Chapman, ranking them by risk level and suggesting a variety of responses or preventative measures.
Two open houses were held in February, allowing the public to share their comments and learn about the SARP.
SCRD directors received the public’s comments on July 5.
Of the 23 original hazards identified as threats to the Chapman, 14 were characterized as high or moderate risks and thus included in the plan.
Populating that list were high precipitation and run-off, wildlife and birds and forestry activity — the top three, respectively.
Climate change impacts ranked 10th and illegal dumping 13th.
Nohr said the SARP would not secure the Chapman’s protection by itself, but “at least we’ve got areas where we can say we have concerns.
“Anybody that’s applying for a permit [in the Chapman] will know full well what they’re up against,” Nohr predicted after the document’s adoption. “The reason it’s important is it really tells us clearly where any risks and concerns are.”
For Nohr, completing the SARP was a “top five” item for the current board’s term, in addition to work on waste management, recycling and affordable housing.
“I think all of those things are really important. SARP is long range, some of the others will be done this year and put in place,” he said. “But, we’ll see how it goes.”