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Gibsons poised to provide emergency water to SCRD

Town of Gibsons council has agreed to supply the Sunshine Coast Regional District with up to 1,000 cubic metres of water a day as Stage 4 restrictions continue for the Chapman system.
Chapman Lake Sept 20 water
Chapman Lake water levels have hit a record low, as seen on Sept. 20.

For the second time in as many years, Town of Gibsons is ready to supply water to the parched Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) on an emergency basis.

The Town may supply the SCRD with up to 1,000 cubic metres of water a day from the Gibsons aquifer, said a Town press release. Town council gave its approval at a special council meeting convened Sept. 26.

“Rigorous monitoring of the Gibsons Aquifer tells us that there is ample capacity to provide water to our neighbours in the SCRD,” Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish said in the release.

The Chapman Water System supplies water to 90 per cent of the Sunshine Coast, according to the SCRD, and it’s been on Stage 4 restrictions since Aug. 31. The regional district has released several pleas to users to reduce use, saying that Chapman Lake is at a record low.

While it’s not set when the water will flow from Gibsons to the SCRD, the exchange system can be activated quickly, said the Town’s release. The Town moved to Stage 3 water regulations at the beginning of September partly in anticipation of needing to supply water to the SCRD.

Infrastructure installed last year enables the two-way exchange of water between the systems, said the release, and was put to use in September 2021 when the Town supplied the SCRD with 5,850 cubic metres of water amid shortages. The SCRD later returned the same amount of water into the Gibsons system.

The Chapman system was on Stage 4 water restrictions for 41 days in 2021.

“The ability of Gibsons and the SCRD to easily provide water to one another when required is hugely advantageous to both parties and speaks to the highly cooperative nature of our relationship,” said SCRD Chair Darnelda Siegers in the press release. “As in most things, we are stronger together than apart and will always do better when we collaborate to find solutions to Sunshine Coast challenges.”